John Beale becomes non-exec director
John Beale, founder of the Early Learning Centre and chief executive of Past Times, has joined Alexon as non-executive director. He will join on Friday.

Alexon chairman Jim Martin said: 'We are delighted that John has agreed to join the board as a non-executive director. He is enormously experienced in retail and I have no doubt that he will make a valuable contribution to the future development of Alexon.'

Beale is chief executive and founder of Ardington Jewellery, trading as Pia, a mail order jewellery retailer. He founded the Early Learning Centre in 1973, holding the post of chief executive until 1985. He became chief executive of Past Times parent Historical Collections Group until it went into administration on April 25, 2001.

The appointment comes after a significant board upheaval for the fashion retailer. Chairman Patrick Cooper stood down at the beginning of the month to be succeeded by Martin, who was previously an independent director at the board. Non-executive director Michael Adams retired at the same time, prompting his replacement by Beale.

Alexon recorded profit before tax of£29.2 million for the latest financial year last month, up from£26.8 million a year ago. However, the retailer said that as a result of the collapse of Allders, where it had 118 concessions, it had to take a£2.2 million exceptional charge.