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Top 100: 09. Michael Sharp

Chief executive, Debenhams

When Michael Sharp took over from Rob Templeman as chief executive last year he promised to make Debenhams an “international, multichannel retailer”. He has kept to his word. In October the department store chain increased its international footprint when it opened its first store in Georgia, its 70th internationally, with more likely to follow in the Middle East. Paving its way towards multichannel greatness, Debenhams also recruited Google UK and Ireland sales director Peter Fitzgerald to its board as a non-executive director. Sharp’s direction appears to be paying off. The trading update for the year to September 1 revealed like-for-likes up 2.3% and online sales up 39.8% for the period. Pre-tax profit rose 4.2% to £158.3m, with total sales climbing 2.6%.

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