60 Jgeir Jnesson, executive chairman, Baugur
2007 RANK: 3
The Icelander has slipped out of the retail limelight this year, having handed over the role of Baugur chief executive to Gunnar Sigurdsson.
He has not slipped out of the headlines, though, as the Icelandic police’s economic crime department are investigating previous fraud allegations. As far as private equity is concerned, he predicts an “interesting year” as the banking market tightens.
61 Lord Harris, founder, Carpetright
2007 RANK: N/A
Widely respected retail veteran Lord Harris is a busy man. Apart from being a Conservative member of the House of Lords, a non-executive director at Arsenal Football Club and an extensive contributor to numerous educational institutions, he spent last year working on a deal to privatise Carpetright.
He aimed to double the retailer’s size within five years, but Carpetright’s deal was one of the first big victims of the credit crunch. However, he remains dominant in his field of retailing.
62 Tony Shiret, analyst, Credit Suisse
2007 RANK: 63
Hard-hitting analyst Tony Shiret often creates a stir and so far this year has lived up to his reputation.
Shiret provoked palpitations at DSGi’s headquarters – and in the press – in January after forecasting that the electricals retailer would be forced to shut as many as 200 stores. It was a typically confident and controversial judgement from the veteran retail watcher. Whether he was right remains to be seen, but he is often on the money.
63 Fran Minogue, managing director, Heidrick & Struggles
2007 RANK: 54
Headhunter Fran Minogue is the force behind some of the most high-profile people moves in retail, both in the UK and abroad.
Recent appointments include placing ex-Robert Dyas chief executive Rob Cissell as chief operating officer of Wal-Mart’s fast-growing China division. Last month, she placed Dennis Mok – former head of European fashion ventures M&S Mode and Cool Cat – as head of New Look’s French subsidiary Mim.
64 Steve Esom, director of food, Marks & Spencer
2007 RANK: 47
Esom moved from being Waitrose managing director to heading M&S’s food division almost exactly a year ago.
Since then, there has been much talk of Esom being a serious contender to fill Sir Stuart Rose’s shoes. He has been elevated to the board but, with Rose taking up the post of executive chairman and pledging to stay until 2011, it is clear he still has a long way to go.
65 Angela Ahrendts, chief executive, Burberry
2007 RANK: N/A
Ahrendts has come a long way since her small-town Indiana upbringing.
The ultra-chic American is the brains behind an ambitious worldwide rejuvenation of the famous UK luxury clothing brand.
Gone are the 1990s chav associations and, having put Yorkshireman Chris Bailey in charge of design, she has helped to firmly reposition Burberry as a destination for fashionistas around the globe.
66 Laura Wade-Gery, chief executive, Tesco.com
2007 RANK: N/A
As chief executive of Tesco.com, Wade-Gery heads a hugely significant retail business in its own right.
Tesco.com is the UK’s largest e-tailer and the online business represents 3 per cent of Tesco’s total turnover, making it larger than many UK high street names.
According to Wade-Gery, the business is only in its infancy. As both non-food offer and the internet rapidly come to the fore, her power and standing at the UK’s biggest retailer can only increase.
67 Euan Sutherland, incoming chief executive, Kingfisher UK
2007 RANK: 68
Many names were bandied about for who would replace Ian Cheshire at the helm of Kingfisher’s UK arm, which primarily comprises B&Q, but Superdrug boss Euan Sutherland was a surprise.
Asda was also reportedly after him for a senior role, which says a lot about his standing in the market.
But Sutherland should not underestimate the task ahead. To go from the relatively low-profile Superdrug to one of UK retail’s most challenging roles and at a difficult time will be a true test of his capabilities.
68 Paul Mason, chief executive, Somerfield
2007 RANK: 60
The following 12 months could bring dramatic changes for Mason, with the impending sale of the 900-store local grocery chain to The Co-operative Group.
He has done a lot to modernise Somerfield, but the company’s figures, which show growth, are at odds with TNS market share data.
If the sale to the Co-op goes through, his next move is unclear but, given his time at Levi Strauss, Matalan, B&Q and Asda, he could return anywhere in retail.
69 Trevor Bish-Jones, chief executive, Woolworths
2007 RANK: 57
Woolworths announced earlier this month that its retail arm returned to profitability, but that hasn’t done much to ease the pressure on Bish-Jones, with concerns persisting about the future direction of the business.
Not many feel the sprawling chain has much of a future in its present form, but the no-nonsense Bish-Jones knows Woolies’ wholesale businesses are the jewels in the crown. Speculation is mounting that a break up could be on the cards.
70 Kate Moss, supermodel
2007 RANK: 53
The Croydon supermodel’s fan base never diminishes and the PR that she has given Topshop is unprecedented.
At the launch of her collection for Topshop, hordes of people queued around the block for a glimpse of the supermodel. The launch generated sales of about£3.5 million in its first week. Subsequent collections haven’t generated quite the same buzz, but her influence on fashion throughout the world is astonishing.
71 Ray Kelvin, founder, Ted Baker
2007 RANK: 86
While many retailers have been commiserating this year amid economic gloom, the eccentric Kelvin has been continuing to expand his quirky empire both at home and overseas and sales have soared.
A 4,000 sq ft store in the City’s Cheapside – complete with a barbers and stuffed pigeons – opened in March. And, in the same month, he announced that pre-tax profits had soared 10 per cent to£22 million.
All that and he still hates having his photograph taken.
72 Mike Clare, founder, Dreams
2007 RANK: N/A
The entrepreneur who started out selling condoms at college celebrated the 20th anniversary of his 170-store Dreams empire at the end of last year.
In March, the business posted an 88 per cent rise in full-year pre-tax profits and, in the same month, Clare cashed in by selling it to private equity investor Exponent. Retaining a non-controlling but substantial stake in the business, Clare will certainly sleep easy this year – no doubt in his Dreams bed.
73 Hugh Harvey, chief executive, Comet
2007 RANK: 85
Harvey was promoted from deputy managing director to managing director when Simon Fox left the business to head HMV in March 2006.
Harvey is more than holding his own, despite presiding over Comet’s first like-for-like sales fall in more than two years. Parent Kesa blamed the economic slowdown. He joined the Comet board as commercial director in June 2001 from Kingfisher, where he was director of global sourcing.
74 Sir Geoff Mulcahy, chairman, BRC
2007 RANK: 80
One of the best-known non-food retailers of his generation, Mulcahy built Kingfisher into one of the largest retail conglomerates of its time with businesses from B&Q to Comet to Superdrug. Now, he continues to wield influence as chairman of the BRC, where he has put a new director-general in place and worked hard to ensure the body is relevant to its members’ needs. He is also chairman of retail consultancy Javelin.
75 Matt Davies, chief executive, Pets at Home
2007 RANK: 67
The youthful Davies has been at the helm of the Bridgepoint-owned pet chain since 2004 and he continues to take the company from strength to strength.
For the year to March profits jumped more than 50 per cent to£30.9 million. Particularly innovative in its sector, the retailer continues to open space and is completing the roll out of a new store format. However, the credit crunch has put paid to a potential flotation of the business.
76 Andy Street, managing director, John Lewis
2007 RANK: N/A
A partnership lifer, Andy Street has been with John Lewis for 22 years working his way up the ranks. Times may have got tougher this year, with some of its stores struggling, but the department store chain continues to outperform the market.
Street’s challenge is to maintain this momentum in a tough economic climate, while at the same time leading the business through an ambitious expansion programme, doubling its portfolio in the next 10 years.
77 Paul Kelly, chief executive, Selfridges
2007 RANK: 79
Straight-talking Irishman Kelly has overseen tremendous success for the Weston family’s UK business. With the opening of its spectacularly pricey Wonder Room in London, a transactional web site in the pipeline and an impressive financial performance, the good times seem set to continue.
78 Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive, Littlewoods
2007 RANK: 75
The Littlewoods Shop Direct group suffered losses of£24 million in the year to April 2007, but it is all part of Newton-Jones’ plan to revive the group.
It is part way through a restructure costing£330 million and expects to recoup the money within four years.
The ex-Next executive is attempting to bring the Littlewoods brand up to date and has set targets to double its online sales to£1 billion by 2011.
79 Malcolm Walker, founder, Iceland
2007 RANK: 93
Face of Iceland Kerry Katona’s tabloid antics aside, it’s been another good year for the frozen food retailer.
Having returned to rescue Iceland in 2005, the forever self-assured Walker is continuing to do what he does best. Continued sales growth and tight cost control mean the business is now more profitable than ever before.