Primark exec Lyttle starts new role as Boohoo CEO

Fashion e-tail giant Boohoo enters a new phase on Friday as Primark’s former chief operating officer John Lyttle has now joined the company as its new chief executive. His appointment had originally been announced last September.


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He joins as the company remains one of the most dynamic performers in UK fashion retail, but also as its share price sits persistently and significantly below the highs it reached in 2017 and 2018. And of course, we can't ignore the difficulties that fashion retail in Britain is facing at the moment that mean even the strongest players are having to discount in order to drive sales.

Lyttle had been at Primark for eight years, during which time it expanded fast and became one of the most profitable retail businesses in Europe. However, Primark has no webstore operations at all, while Boohoo is a pureplay e-tailer so, while both operate at the lower end of the price scale, Lyttle’s online learning curve will need to be a steep one.

On Friday, Boohoo said that his appointment is “a key constituent of the Group's strategy in positioning for its next stage of its growth.” It coincides with Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane, who were previously joint chief executives, assuming the roles of group executive chairman and group co-founder and executive director, respectively. 

As previously announced, Peter Williams has stepped down from his role as non-executive chairman with effect from today.

The search process to recruit two new independent non-executive directors is progressing well, the company said. A further announcement will be made on the appointment of the successful candidates “in due course”. 

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