It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there in retail, what with the onward march of ecommerce and increasing upheaval on the high street. So it’s not exactly surprising Debenhams boss Michael Sharp is stepping down after a turbulent five years at the helm.
He claimed he had always planned to leave after five years even though he’d never said so publicly. But an FT report last month indicated 20 of the department store’s shareholders (not including Sports Director owner Mike Ashley) had asked broker Cenkos to find out if others felt the same about pushing for a change of leadership.
‘I accepted the job of Chief Executive with the intention of spending five years in the role,’ Sharp, who has been at the retailer for 25 years, said. ‘I hope being transparent about my intentions will stop recent speculation becoming a distraction, allowing me and the Debenhams team to focus on delivering our strategy and the important Christmas trading period.’