Mothercare has restructured its executive management team as it seeks to restructure the business to make it a digitally-led company.

Mothercare chief executive Mark Newton Jones

The retailer’s UK commercial director Matt Stringer has been promoted to chief operating officer as part of the restructure, while the company has hired Gary Kibble as group brand and marketing director.

Changes come ahead of Richard Smothers taking up the role of chief financial officer on March 23 to replace Matt Smith, who left the company to join Debenhams.

Other changes include group merchandising director Karl Doyle being promoted to group buying and merchandising director.

Sarah Purkis will join as group HR director on March 23, while Jerry Cull will continue in his role as international managing director and Tim Ashby will remain group general counsel and company secretary.

Mothercare chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said: “Last autumn we laid out the future vision and strategy for our business and made clear the need to modernise in order to achieve our ambition. 

“Successful delivery of our plan requires strong, committed and creative leaders to inspire and support our people and stakeholders globally. I am confident that this new team, with its wealth of digital, customer, product and transformation expertise, will deliver this.”

New roles

Smothers has been hired for his “extensive experience within multi-billion pound global businesses” and most recently worked as group finance director at packaging company Rexam.

He has also spent 14 years at Tesco in a number of senior finance roles in the UK and Asia.

New chief operating officer Stringer will be responsible for Information Technology, retail operations, logistics and distribution, property, wholesale and business development. 

He will be tasked with overseeing the investment in the company’s systems transformation, alongside the UK store relocation and refurbishment programme and the integration of the group’s digital strategy with its physical stores. 

Meanwhile, Doyle will seek to improve style, quality and value for money across the product range as well as “stabilising and recapturing margins”.

Kibble has been hired from Shop Direct for the newly created role of group brand and marketing director in order to modernise the Mothercare and Early Learning Centre brands.