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Roger Best to retire from Radley

Radley chief executive Roger Best is to retire after three years at the helm of the premium handbag and accessories brand.

Roger Best, who is 56, will not step down from his role until a successor has been found and he will remain a shareholder in Radley after he relinquishes the chief executive role.

Radley has hired Heidrick & Struggles to begin a search for Best's replacement.

Roger Best said: "It has been a great three years and I will be leaving the business in good shape. There is a strong team in place and the business is growing in both the UK and internationally. For me personally, I now want to pursue one or more non-executive roles, something it would have been impossible to do at the same time as leading Radley."

Best added that Radley had performed strongly over Christmas and said that sales were up 12% for the first eight months of the year beginning in April 2008.

Best joined Radley shortly after it was bought by Phoenix Equity Partners in 2005. He led a secondary buyout of the Radley business in December 2007 when it was sold to private equity firm Exponent in a deal that valued the business at £130 million.

Radley chairman Paul Mason added: "Under Roger's leadership the company has developed strongly and we wish him well. Radley is now a great business, with a very strong market position in the UK, and a growing presence internationally. We are looking forward to attracting a new leader that can continue the rapid growth trajectory of the business."

Best said Radley would be looking for someone with a strong background in consumer brands, and probably someone with sales and marketing experience. He said: "Ideally he or she will come from the branded goods or luxury goods sector. We want someone who is passionate about the brand and someone with experience here and internationally. It will be a high calibre candidate."

Fran Minogue, managing partner at Heidrick & Struggles, added: "We will be looking for someone with a good understanding of international devevelopment and brand expansion, ideally iconic British brands. He or she will have the ability to manage the creative and commercial [aspects of the business]."

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