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Wan denies Harvey Nichols exit rumours

Joseph Wan has quashed rumours that he is planning to exit Harvey Nichols, saying he remains committed to the department store business for at least another year.

Wan told Drapers he had no imminent plans to step back from his role as chief executive, which he has held since 1992.

Over the past four years he has been developing a succession plan, as he reaches retirement age in 2014.

Head hunters have been scouting the industry for a successor “on and off” since 2008, but Wan said no suitable replacement had yet been identified.

Wan’s current contract – which he renewed only last year and runs until 2017 – requires him to give Harvey Nichols a year’s notice.

“My exit strategy is no different from what it was four years ago or even 15 years ago – clearly I’m older now, so I need to move it forward, but there is no fixed time that I must go,” he said.

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