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Shop Direct names new chief executive

Shop Direct has appointed banker Alex Baldock as its new chief executive, replacing Mark Newton-Jones who leaves later in the year.

Baldock, who is currently managing director of RBS Group-owned Lombard, joins the online giant in September.

Newton-Jones revealed in January he was to leave Shop Direct, which operates brands including Littlewoods and Very, after almost nine years at the helm. Newton-Jones will support Baldock as he transitions into the business.

Baldock joined Lombard in 2008 from Barclays, where he held senior roles in corporate and commercial banking.

Previously he was a management consultant at Bain & Company, Ernst & Young and Dentsu, advising corporate companies across Europe, the US and Asia-Pacific. As a consultant, Lombard gained significant experience advising clients across retail and online.

Baldock is said to have experience in “managing and growing complex businesses through change”.

He said: “I can’t wait to get started at Shop Direct. Mark and the team have built a strong business with great brands and fantastic products delivering strong growth and innovation. The group’s online, mobile and retailing capabilities are the envy of many and it is ideally placed in the increasingly online world in which we live.

Newton-Jones told Drapers: “Alex is a very bright and sharp individual and I am sure he will get to grips with the complexity of the business – we are a bank as well as a retailer and what we needed was a very strong general manager which Alex is. We have some fantastic retail experience within the team already so we looked for someone who could lead but also quickly get to grips with the complexity of the business. I came from Next so I had a background in both the financial and retail sides but it is very rare to find both.”

Newton-Jones has no plans for the future as yet, but didn’t rule out another role within retail which has been his background for 27 years.   

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