Position last year: 36
Speculation over the ownership of the firm was finally put to rest this year when Brian McCluskey led the sale of Office to South African retailer Truworths International for £256m in November.
The new owners bought an 89% share of the retailer while management, led by McCluskey retained 11% with an option to cash out after three years. Private equity firm Silverfleet Capital, which has owned Office since December 2010, said the sale followed a five-year period of investment, during which the chain achieved “significant growth” in the UK and Germany.
This year was also very lucrative for McCluskey. Soaring profits resulted in he and the firm’s other directors – chief financial officer Emily Tate and former CFO Ian Findlay – pocketing £61.3m in dividends, after no payout in 2014. Under McCluskey, in its most recent financial results, Office doubled its operating profit to £56.9m for the year to January 25. Turnover at the business increased 5.5% to £270.2m for the year, while like-for-like sales were up 1.2%. Sales across the UK and Europe were up 4.8% and 22% respectively, but fell 11% in the rest of the world