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Figleaves founder wants 'real retailer' for top job

Figleaves.com is searching for a new chief executive as it gears up to make a profit for the first time next year.

Daniel Nabarro, who co-founded the lingerie etailer almost nine years ago, will step down as chief executive but will remain as chairman.

Nabarro has a 34% stake in Figleaves and wants someone with a retail background to run the company. He said: "I'm a serial entrepreneur and Figleaves has evolved beyond my expectations. It is now ready to be run by a real retailer."

He is in talks with a handful of candidates and said he hoped to make an appointment within three months. "I'm looking for a great communicator with knowledge of the industry," he said. The ideal candidate would not need an online background, he added.

Nabarro sits on the board with Benchmark Europe, which holds a 38% stake, and other major shareholders.

He also revealed that Figleaves as a whole would post a profit for the first time next year. "We're expecting significant growth," he said.

Figleaves' UK division hit profit for the first time in 2004, but the US-owned company reported pre-tax losses of £4.2 million for the year to July 2, 2006.

Part of the new chief executive's challenge could be to float the company in the next two to three years. "It makes a lot of sense, but public markets are very fickle," said Nabarro. "We'll do the right thing for the company when the time is right."

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