It emerged this week that two of Pep&Co’s most senior executives have handed in their notice and will leave the retailer in May.
Managing director Adrian Mountford and trading director Cathy Haydon have been with the business for almost four years and played a key role in the rapid expansion of its store estate, including shop-in-shops within Poundland and Dealz stores.
“One thing that catches my eye is that neither Mountford nor Haydon has a new role lined up, according to Retail Week sources”
Both are experienced retailers who can list senior positions with a number of well-known brands on their CVs, including Matalan and Sainsbury’s in Mountford’s case, and M&S and Tesco in Haydon’s.
One thing that catches my eye is that neither Mountford nor Haydon has a new role lined up, according to Retail Week sources.
Whether their exit relates in any way to the accounting scandal that has engulfed parent company Steinhoff remains to be seen – Pep&Co insists not – but the fact the pair have a long working relationship that pre-dates Pep&Co makes their next move all the more intriguing.
The fact their tenures at Pep&Co so closely overlapped suggests Mountford and Haydon have a strong working relationship, and I just wonder whether the timing of their departure – and the fact they reportedly have no jobs lined up – implies they may be ready to strike out together in a new venture.
In any case, it will be interesting to see where they surface next and whether they are reunited for a third time.
As for Pep&Co, the company says the search for a new managing director and trading director is ongoing, with announcements expected in the coming weeks.
Will the company be able to attract the very top calibre of people for these roles? I’m not so sure.
My worry for Pep&Co is that Steinhoff’s accounting problems have the potential to act as a deterrent to candidates.
Retailers at the very top of the industry have a finite amount of time to make their money and there must be serious questions about the ability of Pep&Co’s owner to offer the kind of competitive bonuses and share options that senior executives expect.
That said, there will still be talented, up-and-coming retailers who will be hungry to prove themselves in a senior role, in which case the chance to put their mark on a growing business will have its appeal.
Major moves this month
|Name||Job role||Company exiting||Company joining||Job role|
|Oliver Meakin||Chief executive||Maplin||Gaucho||Chief executive|
|Graham Harris||Commercial director||Internal promotion||Maplin||Chief executive|
|Ben La Grange||Chief financial officer||Steinhoff|
|John Browett||BillSaveUK||Chief executive|
|Richard Jones||Merchandise trading director||Target||Debenhams||Global sourcing trading director|
|Humphrey Singer||Group finance director||Dixons Carphone||Marks & Spencer||Chief finance officer|
|John Colley||Chief executive||Hobbycraft||Kingfisher||Group trading director|
|Derek Harding||Alongside current responsibilities as group finance director||Shop Direct||Interim chief executive|
|Judith McKenna||Chief operating officer, US division||Internal promotion||Walmart||International chief executive|
|Dave Cheesewright||President and chief executive of Walmart International||Walmart||Retiring from a full-time role, but will continue to do project work for Walmart|
|Sharry Cramond||Chief marketing officer||Southeastern Grocers||Marks & Spencer||Marketing director, Food & Hospitality|
|Nathan Ansell||Marketing director, Customer & Loyalty||Internal restructure||Marks & Spencer||Marketing director, Clothing & Home|
|Rob Weston||Global brand & marketing director||Internal restructure||Marks & Spencer||Marketing director, Brand & Customer|
|Alex Baldock||Chief executive||Shop Direct||Dixons Carphone||Chief executive|
|Seb James||Chief executive||Dixons Carphone||Walgreens Boots Alliance||VP and managing director, Boots|
|Steve Carson||Director of retail and customer operations||Sainsbury’s Argos||Holland & Barrett||Managing director|
|Mark Gifford||Chief financial officers at both Game Digital and Superdry Group||Game Digital|
|Nick Wharton||Chief financial officer||Superdry Group||Retiring|
|Ed Barker||Director of group finance||Sainsbury’s Argos||Superdry||Chief financial officer|
|James Mooney||Trading director||Topshop||Primark||Merchandising director for womenswear|
|Craig Castelino||General manager of merchandise||Bunnings|
|Damian McGloughlin||Retail director||B&Q||Bunnings||Interim UK merchandising director|
|Jayne Demuro||Retail managing director||Soho House||Fenwick||Buying and merchandising director|
|Adrian Mountford||Managing director||Pep&Co|
|Cathy Haydon||Trading director||Pep&Co|