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Mark Newton-Jones

Chief execuitve, Shop Direct Group

Mark Newton-Jones began the year in acquisitive mode, buying the Woolworths and Ladybird kidswear brands out of administration in February.

Newton-Jones relaunched Woolworths as an online-only retailer in July, and appointed Matthew Hardcastle, managing director of eBay’s UK shopping comparison network,, to head up the business.

He also channelled £10m into Very, a rebrand of the Littlewoods Direct site, to appeal to a younger 25-plus shopper, and plans for the site to hit sales of £500m by 2014.

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