Debenhams group trading director steps down next month

Debenhams has announced that group trading director Suzanne Harlow will leave the business on October 20.

In a statement, the department store retailer said Suzanne ‘intends to explore new opportunities elsewhere’. It added that the business is creating three new business units: Fashion and Home, Beauty and Beauty Services, and Food and Events. As a result, the role of the group trading director will no longer exist.

Each new business unit will be led by a member of the executive committee, which will consist of chief executive officer Sergio Bucher and chief financial officer Matt Smith, along with retail director Ross Clemmow, marketing director Richard Cristofoli, international director David Smith, technology and supply chain director Angela Morrison and HR director Sally Hyndman.

A new executive committee member responsible for Fashion and Home will be appointed in due course. Sergio Bucher will be responsibility for this division in the interim.

He commented: “I would like to thank Suzanne personally for her support since my arrival at Debenhams in October last year. She has done an excellent job since she joined Debenhams in 1994 and over the last eight years, as group trading director, she has driven growth in categories such as Beauty, Accessories, Food and Gift.”

He added: “We have strengthened the management team over the last 12 months and now have a structure in place to support our ambition to become a leader in social shopping.”

Debenhams chairman Sir Ian Cheshire said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Suzanne for her significant contribution to Debenhams over the last 23 years. She has proved herself a consummate professional and I personally would like to thank her particularly for her help and support to the business through the period of leadership transition. We wish her every success in the future.”

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