Topshop CEO resigns, 'amicable' split as he heads back to US
today Dec 10, 2019
Topshop/Topman is set to lose its CEO in the latest blow to parent company Arcadia. Former Burberry exec Paul Price resigned this week for personal reasons, the company said. Price is relocating back to the US.
It’s clearly not a Ted Baker-style situation (that retailer’s CEO has left with immediate effect we learned on Tuesday) as Price will be leaving the company at the end of the year and Arcadia chief Philip Green told the Press Association his departure is “amicable”.
For now, Arcadia CEO Ian Grabiner will run the two brands. It’s not yet known when the company will look to appoint a more permanent head for its flagship pair of brands, but Green also said it’s “business as usual” at the labels.
Price replaced outgoing CEO Mary Homer in 2017, although she had left in March of that year and he didn’t join until September so the company has a history of running without a CEO directly attached to Topshop and Topman. His immediate role prior to joining Topshop was as chief merchandising officer at Burberry.
He had been with that company for a decade, but he also has extensive US experience having previously worked for Gap Inc’s Banana Republic and for Williams-Sonoma.
Regardless of who eventually replaces him, his departure comes at a tough time for Topshop and its parent firm. Stalling sales, company voluntary arrangements and store closures have characterised its operations in recent periods and it’s unclear how successful its turnaround plans will eventually be.
In the latest year for which accounts are available (to September 2018), Topshop and Topman’s pre-tax losses had ballooned on the back of one-off charges, and the brands’ sales fell 9%.
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