Debenhams boss Sergio Bucher will step down from the helm this week, the department store chain has confirmed.
The CEO’s exit comes just days after the struggling retailer went into administration.
The group, which has 165 UK stores, was picked up immediately in a pre-packaged deal by a new group controlled by its lenders – mostly hedge funds and high street banks.
The move wiped out all Debenhams’ remaining shareholders, including Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct which held a near-30 per cent stake.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Outgoing: Debenhams boss Sergio Bucher (above) will step down from the helm this week, the company said
Handing control over to its lenders gave the debt-laden company access to a much-needed £200million refinancing.
Bucher joined Debenhams from Amazon in 2016, where he was the vice-president of European fashion business.
He masterminded the ‘Debenhams Redesigned’ strategy, but the firm struggled amid the weight of its debts and falling sales.
Debenhams said today that Bucher ‘has decided to leave the group following its successful refinancing’.
‘This will allow new leadership to carry through the restructuring and turnaround of the business.’
Current non-executive chairman Terry Duddy will head up the company as interim executive chairman until a suitable permanent successor is found.
The retailer’s new investor group are seeking fresh leadership with an aim, it said, of steering the chain back to profitability.
The new owners plan to cut costs by closing around 50 stores and agreeing cheaper rents.
Bucher said: ‘Now that our new financing facilities are in place, it is time to move on, knowing the company is in good hands with a plan that will deliver a sustainable future.
‘I would like to wholeheartedly thank all of my colleagues for their efforts and dedication during such a turbulent time, as well as our suppliers, partners and of course customers for their continued support.’
Duddy added: ‘Debenhams now has a clear path towards a viable and sustainable future and we have Sergio and his team to thank for that.
‘With a positive, professional approach, he has acted at all times in the company’s best interests, and we wish him all the best for the future.’