House of Fraser CEO John King departs as raft of management changes introduced

L to R: Frank Slevin, Nigel Oddy and John King

House of Fraser's chief executive John King has left the retailer after eight years at the helm just months after it was acquired by China's Sanpower group for £480m.

His departure comes amid a swathe of management changes ahead of the opening of up to 50 department stores in China. King will be replaced by current chief operating officer Nigel Oddy who has been with the business since 2007.

Oddy will also lead the opening of new stores in the Middle East with retail franchise partner Retail Arabia.

House of Fraser has also appointed Frank Slevin as executive chairman, who has spent 16 years based in the Asian markets.

He commented: “We are very excited by the future as the business embarks on the next phase of growth. Nigel is an outstanding retailer, with experience in driving international expansion and we believe his knowledge of House of Fraser and relationships with brand partners will be invaluable as we open new stores in China and the Middle East.”

Meanwhile, the management team at House of Fraser has been shaken up ahead of the Chinese charge.

Peter Gross current executive director retail operations will suceed Oddy as chief operating officer, while Andy Harding moves from executive director of multichannel to chief customer officer.

Jackie Hay, current executive director menswear and childrenswear will take on the role of executive director, apparel and accessories, while director of finance Ray Kavanagh will serve as executive director, commercial.

House of Fraser posted an eight per cent rise in like-for-like sales over the 2014 Christmas period. The performance was driven by a 31.2 per cent lift in online, eclipsing the 4.2 per cent sales growth from physical stores on a like-for-like basis.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.