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Debenhams appoints BA's Abigail Comber as marketing chief in make-or-break year

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By Imogen Watson | Senior reporter

January 6, 2020 | 3 min read

Debenhams has kicked off its make-or-break year by appointing ex-British Airways (BA) marketing buff, Abigail Comber, as chief marketing officer.

A long-term BA employee, Comber left the airline in May 2018 after a 16-year tenure where she had risen to head of brand and marketing. Prior to that was head of customer for nearly three years, after moving up from head of global marketing.

Debenhams appoints Abigail Comber as chief marketing officer

Debenhams appoints Abigail Comber as chief marketing officer

She has since held numerous interim marketing roles. Most recently she served at L3 Technologies as commercial and customer experience director and before that, she was the interim chief marketing officer at Oyster Yachts.

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Comber's appointment comes amid uncertain times for the struggling department store chain. Last week, Debenhams announced it was to shut down 19 locations, resulting in 660 job losses.

The closures are part of a wider rescue plan that the department store chain announced last year after entering into administration in April 2019. A further 28 stores are set to close by 2021.

On Comber's appointment, Debenhams chief executive Stefaan Vansteenkiste said: ”Abigail’s track record speaks for itself and her experience and understanding of customer engagement and developing digital service initiatives will be particularly important as we continue to work on transforming Debenhams into a business that can compete effectively in the rapidly changing retail environment.”

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