Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group is in a state of flux after a flurry of resignations by executives from Evans, Topshop, Burton and Miss Selfridge.

Another week, another significant departure from Arcadia.

This time it’s long-serving Evans boss Fiona Ross who will step down after almost 30 years with the group and nearly a decade as managing director of the women’s fashion chain.

News of her departure comes hot on the heels of Mary Homer’s decision to leave Topshop to take up the chief executive role at The White Company, and follows a spate of recent exits from Arcadia that includes Burton managing director Wesley Taylor and Miss Selfridge creative director Yasmin Yusuf.

Domino effect

It’s easy to seize on such an exodus as evidence of problems at the top of Arcadia.

That may well be the case – the group has not historically had a large turnover of senior staff and so a raft of resignations is bound to raise eyebrows, especially when the departure of Taylor was reported to have been somewhat acrimonious.

Mary Homer

Mary Homer, chief executive, The White Company

Mary Homer quit her role of managing director as Topshop to become chief executive of The White Company

But there may also be a domino effect at play here where one significant departure leads to other long-serving employees reflecting on their own circumstances and future career plans.

Both Ross and Homer have spent most of their working lives at Arcadia and perhaps felt it was time for a change of scenery.

Nevertheless, Arcadia is clearly in a state of flux. Ross is being replaced by Anne Secunda, who will combine running Evans with her current role as managing director of stablemate Wallis.

It remains to be seen whether such an arrangement is sustainable in the long-term and it may prove to be a stop gap until a permanent successor to Ross is found.

Integrated strategy

Such shared responsibility is not unusual within the group, however. Integration has always been a philosophy at the heart of Arcadia’s strategy.

Craig McGregor, another recent leaver, held the role of retail director for both the Topman and Topshop brands, while Matt Brewster – who has also reportedly handed in his notice – currently holds the position of Topshop-Topman global commercial director.

Taylor, for his part, held joint responsibilities for menswear at Burton and BHS as long ago as 2009.

Perhaps Sir Philip Green feels further integration is in the long-term interests of the group? Maybe he simply want to freshen things up? Or perhaps there is genuine discontent among his leadership team?

Whatever the truth, at a time of such upheaval it feels like a period of stability is in the interests of both Sir Philip and his fashion empire.

NameJob RoleCompany ExitingCompany JoiningJob Role
Maddie Melson Director of customer insight House of Fraser Amara Chief customer officer
Gary Kibble Marketing director Mothercare Sainsbury’s Argos Marketing director
Matt Stringer UK managing director Internal promotion Mothercare Global product officer
Kevin Rusling International director Monsoon Accessorize Mothercare International managing director
Karl Doyle Group product director Mothercare    
Kirsty Homer Director, personnel group and Partnership services John Lewis Partnership Mothercare Director of HR
Keith Basnett Former chief operating officer Yodel Mothercare Global supply chain and business transformation director
Craig McGregor Retail director Topshop-Topman Specsavers Retail director
Jonathan Fearn Finance director Internal promotion Shoe Zone Chief financial officer
Jonathan Crookall Group HR director Halfords Conviviality Group HR director
John Cleland Chief executive Dobbies    
Nicholas Marshall Former chief executive of Wyevale Garden Centre Dobbies Chief executive
Harm Ohlmeyer Senior vice president for digital brand commerce Internal promotion Adidas Chief financial officer
Robin Stalker Chief financial officer Adidas    
Marcus East Digital director Marks & Spencer    
Ricky Wilson Head of M& operations Internal promotion Marks & Spencer Head of online trading and merchandising for clothing and home
Mark Breitbard Chief executive The Gymboree Corporation Gap Inc Chief executive of Banana Republic brand
Clare Waight Keller Creative director Chloe Givenchy Artistic director
Arslan Sharif Chief customer officer Missguided    
Trevor Masters Chief executive of Tesco International Tesco    
Tony Hoggett UK chief operating officer Internal promotion Tesco Chief executive, Asia
Matt Simister Commercial director, fresh food and commodities Internal promotion Tesco Chief executive, central Europe
Daniel Bernard Chairman Kingfisher Retiring  
Andy Cosslett Chairman Rugby Football Union Kingfisher Chairman
Tony Page Chief executive Tofs    
Alistair McGeorge     Tofs Interim chief executive
Phillipa MacDermott Buyer Laura Ashley Feather & Black Head of Buying
Mary Homer Managing director Topshop The White Company Chief executive



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