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BHS appoints Darren Topp as interim chief executive

BHS has named Darren Topp as its interim chief executive with immediate effect, replacing Richard Price who is moving to Tesco clothing brand F&F.

Topp has worked at Bhs for six years, most recently as chief operating officer. Price is on gardening leave from his role as managing director of the department store. It is not yet known what role he will take on at F&F or when he is due to start.

BHS said it would like to thank Price for “everything he has done over the past two years and wish him every success in the future”.

It comes after Sir Philip Green transferred control of BHS to a company called Retail Acquisitions on March 12.

Topp said: “I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead BHS, which remains an iconic name on UK high street. I am really looking forward to working with our new owners and our 11,000 loyal staff to return the business to its glory days.

“There are clearly some challenges ahead and no magic wand we can wave, but we have a clear strategy which is already showing some signs of success with the best sales performance for a decade, and we continue to trade positively. As a result, I believe we can look forward to the next chapter in the company’s history with confidence.”

Prior to joining BHS, Topp spent more than 20 years at Marks & Spencer, culminating in the role of divisional director for Wales and West, a division with more than 200 M&S stores, 20,000 employees and annual sales of £2bn.

Dominic Chappell, chief executive officer of Retail Acquisitions, said: “Over the past few weeks we have spent a significant amount of time with Darren and the leadership team, who have more than 300 years of retail experience between them. We look forward to working with them to build on the initial successes of the turnaround plan and return BHS to profitability.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • 300 years retail experience in the leadership team is one way of looking at it. 55,000 years experience amongst the 'loyal staff' may be another... and I bet they could tell a few stories.

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