Debenhams names Stefaan Vansteenkiste as new CEO

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

Struggling UK retail brand Debenhams Group has appointed Stefaan Vansteenkiste as Chief Executive Officer. 

Vansteenkiste joined Debenhams in April 2019 as Chief Restructuring Officer and has been working closely with the executive team on a new business plan to deliver a turnaround. 

Vansteenkiste is an experienced turnaround expert at professional services firm, Alvarez & Marsal. 

He is a seasoned CEO and retail operator, having served as CEO or advisor at a number of large retail and consumer companies, the company said in a stock market statement. 

Terry Duddy, Chairman of Debenhams Group, will work with Vansteenkiste to ensure an orderly handover and then step down from the board in September.  

"The board welcomes Stefaan's appointment as CEO”, Duddy said. “We concluded that he is the right person to take the business forward into the next phase of its recovery. 

“Stefaan has already made a strong contribution since joining Debenhams, and has the support of our investor consortium to drive forward our turnaround plan."

Vansteenkiste commented: "The retail industry faces a challenging environment and everyone at Debenhams acknowledges that. 

“But we have a clear plan and Debenhams has a great team of people who are committed to delivering it. 

“I am very excited about Debenhams' strong prospects and with a restructured balance sheet there is a robust platform from which to build a turnaround, based on Debenhams' clear brand focus, broad customer reach and differentiated product offer."

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