Frasers Group Confirms Plans for Mike Ashley to Step Down as CEO – WWD

LONDON — Frasers Group, the U.Okay retail group behind Sports activities Direct, Flannels and Home of Fraser, has confirmed media hypothesis that British retail tycoon Mike Ashley plans to step down from his position because the group’s chief govt officer and hand over the reins to his future son-in-law, Michael Murray, by Might 2022.

“The board of Frasers is now in discussions almost about transitioning the ceo position from Mike Ashley to Michael Murray,” mentioned a Frasers spokesperson in an announcement.

The corporate added that “a reward and remuneration package deal” for Murray is now into consideration, topic to shareholder approval of his appointment.

Ashley, who nonetheless owns 64 % of the group, will stay on its board as an govt director, with Murray taking on day-to-day operations.

Murray, aged 31 and engaged to Ashley’s daughter Anna, has been working because the group’s head of elevation and has been tasked with making a extra upmarket picture for the corporate. He has spearheaded the opening of Flannels’ first London flagship on Oxford Road and most just lately was behind the retailer’s formidable foray into magnificence retailing, which aimed to deliver new luxurious procuring experiences to regional prospects throughout the U.Okay.

“We’ve proved our idea and the truth that the patron actually does exist in regional cities, they’re simply not being served in a contemporary, forward-thinking manner. There’s a cause why magnificence halls are closing all around the globe as a result of the idea is lifeless — it’s a dying enterprise mannequin. We need to actually rip up the rule books and put the patron first,” he instructed WWD throughout the launch.

Murray has been using a digital-first focus from the get-go and investing in on-line content material out and in of shops. Thus far, his efforts helped increase the group’s efficiency, with shares being at their highest degree since 2015.

“The  group’s elevation technique is reworking the enterprise and receiving constructive suggestions from shoppers and our model companions, particularly on initiatives comparable to the brand new Oxford Road Sports activities Direct which opened in June 2021,” added the corporate.

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