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69 Stephen Marks

Chairman and chief executive, French Connection

Having spent a large amount of 2010 repositioning and streamlining French Connection, this year Stephen Marks built on the positive response to the company’s marketing campaign and improved product, bringing the business up to speed in the highly competitive high street market.

A distinctive TV ad was a hit with existing customers and attracted new ones, too. First-half profits were up and sales rose 7% to £108.2m. New brand Tegan was launched online in October to target an older customer, and Marks unveiled plans to open 25 stores in China, as well as eyeing up Turkey, Russia and India. 

Last year’s position 72

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