Debenhams has confirmed today that its chief executive Sergio Bucher will step down from the struggling department store chain this week, following its fall into administration.
A search has begun for his successor. In the meantime Terry Duddy, the current non-executive chairman, will assume the role of interim executive chairman.
In a statement, Debenhams said the move “will allow new leadership to carry through the restructuring and turnaround of the business”.
Debenhams’ lenders are putting together a new leadership team after the business entered into a pre-pack administration last week.
The lenders paid £101.8m for the group and took on £520m of debts and its pension obligations, taking the total cost to £621.81m.
Bucher was appointed as Debenhams chief executive in May 2016, replacing Michael Sharp. He joined from Amazon, where he had served as vice-president of Amazon Fashion Europe since 2013.
Bucher said: “Now that our new financing facilities are in place, it is time to move on, knowing the company is in good hands with a plan that will deliver a sustainable future. I would like to wholeheartedly thank all of my colleagues for their efforts and dedication during such a turbulent time, as well as our suppliers, partners and of course customers for their continued support.”
Duddy said: “Debenhams now has a clear path towards a viable and sustainable future and we have Sergio and his team to thank for that. With a positive, professional approach, he has acted at all times in the company’s best interests, and we wish him all the best for the future.”