Debenhams chief executive Rob Templeman has announced that he is to retire in September – the end of the current financial year.
Templeman, who has spent eight years in the top job at the department store retailer, will be succeeded by deputy CEO Michael Sharp. However, he will remain as a consultant for up to a year and to ensure a smooth transition process.
The announcement came as Debenhams released its results for the half year to February 26, showing that group gross transaction value for the period grew by 3.2% to £1,463m – although excluding the Danish retailer Magasin it was flat at £1,328.8m.
Group like-for-like sales were also flat on a VAT-inclusive basis, and down 1.5% excluding VAT. Pre-tax profit was £129.2m compared with £123.6m last year – up 4.5%.
Commenting on Rob Templeman’s departure, chairman Nigel Northridge said that he had made a “huge contribution” to Debenhams. He also said that Michael Sharp’s “commitment to and knowledge of Debenhams are second to none, and he has played a key role in managing the business at the highest level as deputy CEO”.