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Exclusive: Evans managing director latest to exit Arcadia

Fiona Ross has resigned as managing director of plus-size womenswear retailer Evans, Drapers can reveal.

She will be replaced by Anne Secunda, who will also continue in her current role as managing director of Evans’ Arcadia Group stablemate, Wallis.

Ross has worked at Arcadia for 27 years. A spokesman for the group said she decided to leave to seek a fresh challenge and the business “wished her well”.

He added that Secunda, who has worked at Arcadia for more than 30 years, brings “a wealth of knowledge in the womenswear market”.

In her new role as managing director of both retailers, she will focus on how to drive growth across both brands, particularly online. Evans’ store portfolio has been shrinking as customers have shifted to online shopping. 

Ross is the latest in a string of senior figures to leave Arcadia Group.

Last week it was announced that Mary Homer, the long-standing managing director of Topshop, is leaving to join The White Company as CEO, replacing Will Kernan.

Homer joined Topshop more than 30 years ago as a merchandiser and quickly rose up the ranks. She had been managing director for the past decade.

Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green said Homer had been given an offer she could not refuse, adding: “She’s been a very loyal member of staff.”

News of Homer’s departure followed that of Topshop/Topman retail director Craig McGregor, who quit his post earlier this year to take up the same role at Specsavers – as exclusively reported by Drapers.

Topshop/Topman global commercial director Matt Brewster is also leaving the company.

Other recent departures from the traditionally stable Arcadia Group include Wesley Taylor and Yasmin Yusuf, who left their roles as managing director of Burton and creative director of Miss Selfridge respectively.

Speculation has been mounting about who will replace Homer at the helm of Topshop. Names in the mix include its former buying director, Caren Downie, who left Finery, the womenswear brand she co-founded after leaving Topshop, in January.

Arcadia may also extend Topman managing director Philip Cooke’s role to include Topshop. The decision to make Secunda managing director of both Wallis and Evans points to a streamlining of the senior management team, and there are already several joint Topshop/Topman roles in the business. 

 

Readers' comments (1)

  • To paraphrase Oscar Wilde 'To lose one Brand Director may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness' Sir Philip can fill in the rest, three and four?

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