Chief executive, Aurora Fashions

Mike Shearwood Chief executive Aurora Fashions

It’s been a busy year for Aurora Fashions boss Mike Shearwood, after the collapse of its Icelandic backers and Karen Millen having been split off from the group’s other brands - Oasis, Coast and Warehouse.

Shearwood’s operational nous has combined well with fellow director Derek Lovelock’s vast product expertise to successfully navigate the downturn, and trading is said to be better than many fashion retailers are experiencing.

Work has been done to prepare the businesses for sale, such as outsourcing IT, and while there have been disappointments - design guru Barbara Horspool decided not to join Oasis having agreed to join from New Look - overall the business is in a much better place than it could have been.