Mothercare boss Mark Newton-Jones has departed the retailer and will be replaced by Kmart executive David Wood.

Newton-Jones had spent four years at Mothercare, working on its transformation, including less reliance on discounting.

Its turnaround has been derailed in the past year, resulting in redundancies, a profit warning and a plea to lenders to defer covenant testing. 

Wood was previously group president of Kmart’s grocery division and has also had stints as managing director of Tesco’s health and wellness division and as the grocer’s chief marketing officer.

He is credited with returning the Kmart business to profit after leading it through a turnaround.

Mothercare chairman Alan Parker said: “Mothercare is a great brand with a great future but it is facing a number of challenges, not least a highly competitive retail environment.

”Our transformation strategy is focused on improving the performance of the group in the UK and internationally, ensuring Mothercare has the best store format, digital capabilities and customer offer as well as several actions to reduce central costs.

“We have made positive progress but it is essential that we have the most effective leadership in place to meet our ambitions for our customers and our shareholders. David has a great track record in similar circumstances across international and consumer-facing brands and is a highly effective operator of retail operations.”

Wood said: “My immediate focus is to ensure Mothercare is put back on a sound financial footing and deliver a successful plan to improve performance. Central to this will be our customers and their experience, securing Mothercare’s reputation as the number one choice for parents.”