New Look is in talks with former Matalan boss Alistair McGeorge about taking on the role of executive chairman, it is understood.

McGeorge is thought to be one of several retailers in talks for the role, following the departure of chairman John Gildersleeve and chief executive Carl McPhail last month.

New Look founder and interim chairman Tom Singh, who was drafted in following McPhail’s departure, this week reinstated group design director Barbara Horspool as creative director. She had been due to join Oasis.

It is the second reinstatement Singh has made in recent weeks, with the first bringing back group buying director Roger Wightman.

It is understood once Singh and backers Apax and Permira have decided on a executive chairman, they will then consider whether to hire a chief executive.