Arnotts, the iconic Irish department store that was recently taken over by its banks, has appointed former Selfridges director of finance Ray Hernan as chief operating officer.
Chartered accountant Hernan, who takes over the role today (August 23) will report into Arnotts chief executive David Riddiford. Hernan previously worked for both Selfridges and for Brown Thomas reporting to finance director John Edgar. Prior to that, he was director of finance at budget airline Ryanair.
Hernan’s appointment comes less than two weeks after Mark Schwartz, retail specialist and chief executive of private equity firm Palladin Capital Group, was confirmed as the new chairman of the debt-laden department store’s board. It followed European Union Competition Commission approval of takeover of Arnotts by Anglo Irish Bank and Ulster bank.
Schwartz said: “[Hernan] has extensive experience of the retail sector and an in-depth knowledge of the Irish retail market. We look forward to having Ray Hernan on board for the journey ahead as we work together with employees and our vendor and concession partners to grow and develop Arnotts.”
Schwartz is currently conducting a review of Arnott’s senior management, which has already led to the departure of non-executive directors Keith Edelman and Michael Nesbitt, although outgoing chairman Richard Nesbitt is staying on as a non-executive director in recognition of the family’s contribution to the store.
At the time, Schwartz said he had negotiated a new working capital facility with the banks, who are keen to focus on running the core retail business in the short to medium term.