Sharp to quit in 2016
Michael Sharp, Debenhams chief executive is to leave the retailer next year, saying he always planned to leave after five years.
Press reports last month said several of Debenhams' largest investors were unhappy with its performance and wanted a change of leadership.
‘I hope being transparent will stop recent speculation becoming a distraction. 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’m two months into my fifth year and this has always been my own plan. We have a strong management team and our strategy is clearly working,’ said Sharp.
He has worked for Debenhams or its predecessor, Burton Group, for 30 years, and became chief executive in 2011.
Sharp has scaled back on promotions, boosted online options, increased concessions and expanded Debenhams’ international presence in an effort to improve performance.
Last year profits fell by 21% to £110.3m.