Debenhams CFO quits days after second profit warning in less than a year

January 2
4:14 AM 2014

British retail chain Debenhams PLC on Thursday said that its chief financial officer Simon Herrick had quit. Herrick resigned from the retailer two days after it issued a sharp profit warning due to poor Christmas trading.

Reuters, citing local media reports, said Herrick was already under fire after he asked suppliers for a discount and a one-off contribution in the days running up to the key festive period. Herrick had held the CFO role for two years.

Debenhams said that a search to find a replacement was underway. Debenhams finance director Neil Kennedy will assume the role of acting CFO on an interim basis, the report said.

The report said whoever takes the job will be tasked with rebuilding confidence among investors after Debenhams issued its second profit warning in less than a year. The retail chain's shares are down almost 40% in the last 12 months, Reuters said.

Debenhams attributed the latest warning to fierce discounting on the high street. But the group was already struggling as it failed to keep up with rivals John Lewis, House of Fraser and Next. Debenhams is Britain's second-largest department store chain.

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