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Mothercare appoints new CEO as Newton-Jones departs

Mothercare CEO Mark Newton-Jones has stepped down from the role and will be replaced by Kmart Holding group president David Wood.

Wood’s appointment will take place with immediate effect. He has worked at the US retail chain for two years, starting in 2015.

Before that, Wood held a number of senior commercial, marketing and general management positions at Tesco.

Mark Newton-Jones joined Mothercare as interim CEO in March 2014 before the role became permanent in July of that year.

Newton-Jones has been trying to turn the business around during his time at the helm. Last month the retailer admitted it had begun talks with its financing partners, since it expects it will need “waivers of certain financial covenants” to support its strategy.

The retailer, which issued a profit warning in January, said at the time that trading remained “broadly in line with the board’s expectations” but highlighted a “challenging” market environment.

Mothercare chairman, Alan Parker, said: “Mothercare is a great brand with a great future but it is facing a number of challenges, not least a highly competitive retail environment.

“Our transformation strategy is focused on improving the performance of the Group in the UK and internationally, ensuring Mothercare has the best store format, digital capabilities and customer offer as well as several actions to reduce central costs.

“We have made positive progress but it is essential that we have the most effective leadership in place to meet our ambitions for our customers and our shareholders. David has a great track record in similar circumstances across international and consumer facing brands and is a highly effective operator of retail operations. I look forward to working with him and the team.

“On behalf of the board, I would also like to thank Mark for his contribution and for leading Mothercare over the last four years. We all wish him well for the future.”

Wood added: “My immediate focus is to ensure Mothercare is put back on a sound financial footing and deliver a successful plan to improve performance. Central to this will be our customers and their experience, securing Mothercare’s reputation as the number one choice for parents. I look forward to working with the Board and with the management team to deliver on our plans.”

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