Debenhams' Clemmow quits for role at FatFace owner Bridgepoint
Under-pressure Debenhams is losing its managing director of retail, digital, food and events with Ross Clemmow leaving in 2019. He’ll join Bridgepoint, the private equity giant whose major holdings include fashion and lifestyle retailer FatFace, maternity specialist Séraphine and cycling brand Wiggle.
We don’t know who will replace him at the department stores chain, or indeed whether he will be directly replaced, although it’s assumed he will be given how important his role has been.
A Debenhams spokesperson said: “We wish Ross the very best in his new role and will announce plans for his replacement in due course.”
It’s a blow for the chain, coming just after it announced its biggest-ever loss and as it negotiates terms for its plan to close a raft of stores.
The 42-year-old has been with Debenhams for over five years having started there as its e-commerce director. But the company’s ongoing decline during that five-year period doesn’t seem to have damaged his reputation as it’s widely accepted that mid-market department stores are facing a tidal wave of negative factors over which they have very little control.
He will now take the role of Bridgepoint MD and so will continue to have an impact on the fashion sector given the company’s extensive stakes in relevant businesses. And it could even grow those holdings, having earlier this year made £1.5 billion when it sold its Pret A Manger stake.
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