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Debenhams names new chairman

Debenhams Group has appointed Mark Gifford, former House of Fraser chief financial officer, as its new chairman. 

Gifford has been appointed director and chairman of Celine Jersey Topco Limited, the parent company of Debenhams group of operating companies. He is currently chairman of several businesses, including accessories brand Radley.

His LinkedIn profile shows his most recent CFO role was at entertainment retailer Game Group, between 2015 and 2018, having left House of Fraser in 2015 after 13 years in the same position.

The news comes after Debenhams appointed turnaround specialist Stefaan Vansteenkiste as CEO in August.

Vansteenkiste said: “We are delighted that Mark will be joining the parent board to work with our investor consortium, who have confirmed their continuing commitment through providing additional liquidity for our peak trading. Mark’s expertise and understanding of business change, as well as the retail industry, will be invaluable. I look forward to working with him as we deliver the turnaround of the group.”

Gifford added: “Debenhams is strongly backed by a supportive investor group with substantial resources and has an experienced management team with a clear plan to deliver a turnaround. We are assembling a strong group of board members and I am looking forward to working with the team as we implement the necessary changes to deliver a sustainable and profitable future.”

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