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Jaeger boss quits ahead of key Christmas trading period

Jaeger’s chief executive Colin Henry has left the business partway through a five-year turnaround plan.

Henry said: “I have enjoyed the challenge of the Jaeger turnaround and feel that now is the right time to move on to a new opportunity. I would like to thank all the staff at Jaeger for their hard work and wish them and Better Capital all success as they continue on the journey.”

Last week it was revealed that Henry had taken an unexpected leave of absence from the company.

Henry was appointed in 2013, having previously been chief product officer at Esprit and holding product roles at Nike, Umbro and Ralph Lauren.

He told Drapers in July that Jaeger’s turnaround plan hit a bump in the road last autumn due to the warm weather, but he was confident that autumn 15 would see the retailer and brand turn the corner into profitability after it slumped into the red in 2013.

Better Capital, led by Tory donor Jon Moulton, acquired the business from fashion entrepreneur Harold Tillman for £19.5m in 2012. It has since increased its investment to £56m. In the year to March 1, 2014, Jaeger’s like-for-like sales rose 10% and losses after tax narrowed to £9.9m from £12.6m the year before.

“The existing and highly-experienced executive team remains fully-focused upon and committed to leading the continued transformation and turnaround programme with the full support and assistance of Better Capital,” it said following Henry’s departure.

Business consultancy AlixPartners is thought to have been appointed to lead the recovery.

Jaeger has 56 standalone stores and around 70 concessions.  

Former Selfridges chief executive and Asos director Peter Williams stepped down as chairman in May after just six months, citing other commitments.

Williams told Drapers: “Jaeger has a fantastic name and heritage, so there is a real place for it in the fashion industry, but I found there’s still a lot to do in the business and it needs somebody with more time than I can devote to it.

“Better Capital and I had a sensible conversation about it and that’s why I’m stepping down.”

Williams’ predecessor as Jaeger chairman, former Mosaic and Aurora director Stewart Binnie, had a short tenure of just nine months. He exited the business in March 2013.

@Tara_Hounslea

 

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