The Very Group has promoted retail managing director Robbie Feather to the new role of group CEO.

Robbie Feather

New Very Group chief executive Robbie Feather

Feather will replace Lionel Desclée, who is said to have stepped down to “pursue new opportunities”.

Feather joined The Very Group in 2021 and was in charge of the retail team, which oversees all category sourcing, buying, merchandising and group trading, and marketing. 

He was recently involved in the development of the group’s new brand platform, as well as overall retail performance, which saw Very UK’s half-year revenue grow to over £1bn.

The new CEO was previously chief executive of luxury department store Fenwick, where he helped the company launch its online business and modernise its customer proposition.

Other former roles were held at Argos, where he was commercial director on the Argos board, overseeing the digital transformation of the business.

Feather will also join The Very Group’s board and lead its executive team, replacing Desclée.

Multicatgeroy milestones

Under Desclée’s leadership, the company delivered “robust results” and hit many milestones in its tech transformation, such as introudicng AI-powered on-site search, and partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to accelerate generative AI innovation.

Feather said: “I’m hugely excited to be appointed group CEO of The Very Group. This is an outstanding business with a unique proposition, combining multicategory digital retail with flexible ways to pay. 

“I look forward to working with our amazing Very team to delight our customers and continue to deliver sustainable growth for our shareholders.”

Desclée added: “It has been a privilege to lead this innovative and committed team in delighting our customers. I am proud of our achievements and believe that under Robbie’s leadership, the company will continue to succeed.”

Group chair Aidan Barclay said: “Robbie has proven to be an outstanding retail leader, both at The Very Group and throughout his career. 

“He understands our business intimately and has a strong track record of transformation and growth. He is the perfect person to lead the next stage of The Very Group’s development.

“On behalf of the board, I want to thank Lionel for his strong, customer-focused leadership. We wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”