Chief executive
House of Fraser

After a busy year opening a string of sparkling new stores, the good-humoured House of Fraser chief executive has got his head down, dealing with what is said to be tough trading.

London-born, of Irish stock and with an American wife, the former Matalan boss is one of the most likeable retail chiefs. Like its peers, King has had to react to higher levels of promotion in the department store sector and overseen a consultation process affecting a “minimal” number of staff.

In one of the toughest Christmases in recent memory like-for-like sales were up 1.5 per cent.