Two of fashion's top female executives, Karyn Fenn and Angela Spindler, are now on the market and are likely to draw interest from a host of major retailers, according to headhunters.
Spindler resigned last Friday after two years in her role as George global managing director with immediate effect, citing family reasons. She told Drapers she would take the rest of the year off, but was "open to conversations". "I'll definitely go back to fashion full-time," she said.
Fenn, who is joint managing director at Topshop, will leave in January after 20 years. She took up the role after Jane Shepherdson left in October. Shepherdson later joined eco-friendly brand People Tree as a product adviser.
Joint Topshop managing director Mary Homer will stay at the company.
Retail headhunters said the pair's fashion credentials would make them prime targets for retailers. Berkeley Search & Selection chief executive Paul Meechan said Fenn would be a likely candidate for Primark or one of Baugur's businesses. "If Primark is looking for a product person, it would be hard-pressed to find someone better than Karyn," he said. "Baugur will also be thinking about which business she could run."
Spindler is also likely to be approached by Baugur, but Meechan added that with her global experience, she would be suited to a role at a retailer such as TK Maxx. "Angela may think it's not big enough for her, but with her US connections, it could be a good fit," he said.
Another recruitment executive said Fenn would be on the radar of all major retailers "from etailers to Abercrombie & Fitch". He said: "Everyone who approached Shepherdson will now call Karyn, who has been allowed to shine and build her profile in the industry in Jane's absence. She could easily run Karen Millen or Whistles, if Baugur was interested."