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Kate Bostock steps down after completing Coast turnaround

Chief executive of Coast Kate Bostock has stepped down from her role, but will remain in the business as a consultant.

Andrew Skinner, managing director of Coast since April, has taken charge of the company on a day-to-day basis.

In her new role, Bostock will focus on product, customer relationships and mentoring Skinner where necessary.

Bostock told Drapers it was “always the plan” for her to step back from the business after completing a two-year turnaround and for Skinner to be her successor.

She said: “When I joined Coast there was plenty to do, trading was tough. We sorted out the buying, merchandising and design teams. The stores needed to be refreshed and the product needed a new direction.

“I feel like we have delivered a turnaround. We are in a positive trading position – the business is making a profit.

“It has been harder than I expected but equally more rewarding. I’m proud of where we are now and I’m proud of the team for delivering it.

“I’ve worked with Andrew for the last 10 years and we know each other well. He was brought in to succeed me, so it’s business as usual for the team.”

Bostock joined Coast in August 2013 after a long career that included stints at Next, Marks & Spencer and Asos.

Skinner, who joined Coast in May 2014 as merchandising director, worked at M&S for more than 10 years until 2012, latterly reporting into Bostock. In between M&S and Coast, he was buying and merchandising director on a consultancy basis for Irish retailer Dunnes Stores.

The senior Coast team also includes creative director Neil Hendy, commercial director Jo McWilliams and chief financial officer David Wiseman.

Coast has around 40 shops in the UK, as well as concessions in Debenhams, House of Fraser and John Lewis. It is also stocked on Asos, Next and Shop Direct.

Bostock will now spend more time on her kidswear brand, Angel & Rocket, which launched in July last year. The label is currently sold through its own website and is in talks with major UK department stores for autumn 15 and spring 16.

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