Fashion and homewares retailer Laura Ashley has announced today that Lillian Tan will retire from her role as CEO at the start of 2012, after seven years with the business.
Ex-CEO Ng Kwan Cheong, who has been a non-executive director of the company for the last three and a half years, will take over the position again on January 5th 2012 as Tan intends to “pursue other interests”.
The new man at the helm was previously a non-executive director of Corus Hotels from 1997 to 2003, and in the past has been Managing Director of Metrojaya Berhad, the retailing arm of the MUI Group. He is currently the President of Laura Ashley Inc and Regent Corporation Inc.
Laura Ashley’s most recent trading statement, published in September, showed that total group sales grew just 0.1 per cent in the first half of its financial year, but profits before tax were up 28 per cent year-on-year to £7.3 million.
Improved margins and success in multichannel operations were cited as reasons for the company’s impressive profitability.
Tan Sri Dr KP Khoo, Chairman of the retailer, said: “We are very thankful to Lillian for all she has achieved for Laura Ashley over the past seven years.
“In her time as CEO, Laura Ashley has delivered healthy growth and the brand is in a strong position for the future.
“We wish her and her family well. Mr Ng has a wealth of experience and I am looking forward to working with him to continue growing the business.”
Laura Ashley also announced today that Seán Anglim has been appointed Joint Chief Operating Officer to work alongside Nick Kaloyirou, while Company Secretary Kien-Mun Ho has replaced Anglim as Chief Financial Officer.