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QS chief executive steps down as 20 jobs are cut

QS chief executive Findlay Caldwell will step down at the end of the month amid a raft of redundancies at the value chain.

Caldwell, who will act as a consultant for QS on a three-day-a-week contract, will be replaced by chief operating officer Anupam Jhunjhunwala.

Caldwell is the second chief executive QS has lost this year. In April, David Pidgeon stepped down from the role after a clash over strategy with its owners.

Caldwell told Drapers that his decision to step down would allow him to focus on other projects. “My time will be freed up to work on other things,” he said. “But QS is in good shape and I want to stay involved.”

He admitted there would be a “small” number of redundancies at head office and that QS had begun a consultation process with those affected.

“In terms of total job losses, it will be less than 20,” said Caldwell. “We’ll try to find other jobs for those affected but [we’ve been forced to do this] as a result of the economic environment.”

He added that trading was holding up but that QS, which is rebranding its stores to Store 21, had been forced to ramp up its promotional activities. “You’d expect to be trading on full price at the moment. Last week we launched a £5 voucher for every £20 spent. We’ve had to do more promotions,” he said.

Jhunjhunwala joined QS two years ago as finance director from accountancy firm Kingston Smith and was promoted to chief operating offer about eight months ago.

QS was bought by Indian supplier Alok last year.

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