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Debenhams plc (DEB)

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Thursday 22 October, 2015

Debenhams plc


RNS Number : 0668D
Debenhams plc
22 October 2015


22nd October 2015





Debenhams announces that Michael Sharp intends to step down in 2016

after 5 years as Chief Executive


Michael Sharp has been Chief Executive of Debenhams since September 2011 and it has always been his intention to serve a five year term.  Michael is now two months into his fifth year and has indicated this is the right time for the Board to commence a succession planning process so that he can step down sometime in 2016.  Michael will remain in post during the Christmas trading period and into 2016 and will assist the Board in the process of identifying his successor.  This process will evaluate internal and external candidates and Michael has agreed to remain in post to ensure an orderly and smooth handover to his successor.


Under Michael's leadership Debenhams has been delivering a four pillared strategy to build a leading international multi-channel brand.  The Company has released its results for the year to 30th August 2015 today, these are in line with market expectations and show progress continues to be made against all strategic priorities.  Debenhams has made an encouraging start to the new financial year and is in good shape for the crucial Christmas trading period.  The Board is confident that this year will see further good progress and the strategy has put Debenhams in a strong position to deliver long term sustainable growth.


Michael Sharp, Chief Executive commented:-


'It is a privilege to lead Debenhams and I am very proud of our achievements since September 2011.  I believe Debenhams is now capable of competing in the ever changing and challenging world of multi-channel retailing.  I accepted the job of Chief Executive with the intention of spending five years in the role and although it will be difficult to leave a fabulous company like Debenhams, now is the right time for the Board to begin the process of identifying my successor.  I will continue as Chief Executive throughout the Christmas trading period and into 2016 until a suitable successor has been appointed and settled into the role.  We have a strong and talented management team and I would like to thank them and our 30,000 colleagues for their continuing support, hard work and passion.  I hope being transparent about my intentions will stop recent speculation becoming a distraction, allowing me and the Debenhams team to focus on delivering our strategy and the important Christmas trading period.'


Nigel Northridge, Chairman commented:-


'On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Michael for continuing to lead Debenhams through a crucial time of change in retailing and for the good progress the Company has made under his leadership.  He has worked enormously hard to develop the Company's strategy and the benefits of this are really starting to show in the results.  I am pleased Michael will remain with us until we have appointed a suitable replacement and will help facilitate an orderly succession process.  The Board are confident we have a clear and effective strategy and when Michael steps down, he will leave Debenhams in a strong position to compete and deliver long term sustainable growth.


- Ends -





Analysts and Investors


Debenhams plc

Katharine Wynne                                                 020 3549 6304        




Brunswick Group

Simon Sporborg, Jon Drage, Helen Smith                020 7404 5959


Notes to editors

Debenhams is a leading international, multi-channel brand with a proud British heritage which trades from 248 stores across 27 countries.  Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions.


Debenhams has been investing in British design for 20 years through its exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brands.  Current designers include Abigail Ahern, Ted Baker, Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, Giles Deacon, Vicki Elizabeth, FrostFrench, Patrick Grant, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Ben de Lisi, Julien Macdonald, Savannah Miller, Jenny Packham, Stephen Jones, Todd Lynn, Preen, Janet Reger, John Rocha, Ashley Thomas, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson.


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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