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Shop Direct appoints new finance director

Shop Direct Group, which owns Littlewoods, has appointed ex-Umbro chief executive Steve Makin as group finance director, with immediate effect.

Makin will replace Peter Ahye, who is leaving to spend more time with his family, following the birth of his first child. Ahye will remain with Shop Direct until the end of August.

Shop Direct has also appointed Anita Balchandani as group strategy and business development director. She will report directly to chief executive Mark Newton-Jones. She will be responsible for group planning and change as well as supporting and developing the business strategy. She joins from OC&C Strategy Consultants, where she was a partner in the consumer and retail practice.

Newton-Jones, said: "I am delighted that people of the calibre and expertise of both Steve and Anita have joined the group at such a pivotal time in our transformation. I would like to thank Peter for his significant personal contribution and support in the turnaround of the business to date and wish him every success in his future career and fatherhood."

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