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John Gildersleeve ‘will boost New Look’

John Gildersleeve, the new chairman of New Look, will not be disadvantaged by his lack of fashion nous, according to industry observers.

Gildersleeve, who is a Tesco veteran and is currently chairman of mobile phone company Carphone Warehouse, will bring a City-friendly face to the fast-fashion retailer ahead of an expected IPO next year.

Numis analyst Nick Coulter said: “It’s a very considered appointment. John Gildersleeve has an abundance of experience to bring to the party from a retail perspective, but also from a corporate perspective, given his experience in the upper echelons of public companies.”

Nick Bubb, retail analyst at Pali International, said: “He had a tough guy reputation at Tesco and is an effective chairman at Carphone Warehouse. He can add credibility and gravitas.”

Gildersleeve will take up the reins in January from Phil Wrigley, who has been at New Look for nine years and who became chairman last year, when Carl McPhail was appointed chief executive.

Gildersleeve was previously chairman of music company EMI and cigarette manufacturer Gallaher and has held board positions at Vodafone and Lloyds TSB.

Gildersleeve said New Look, which is owned by its management team, founder Tom Singh and private equity firms Permira and Apax, had “exciting growth potential both in the UK and abroad”.

McPhail said: “This marks part of a planned transition in the next phase of New Look’s development.”

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