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Burberry brings in ex-BBC boss as COO

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Luxury fashion label Burberry has appointed former BBC Worldwide CEO John Smith as its new Chief Operating Officer, it has been announced today.

A newly-created position within the company, Burberry noted that the appointment highlights the “evolution of the executive team” as it continues to focus on international growth.

Smith was the driving force behind the development of global franchises and formats for the BBC and has served on the Burberry board as a non-executive director since 2009, a role he will maintain until his official appointment on March 4th 2013.

Smith will report to Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, who welcomed him to the team and said the move was an important step in the next phase of the brand’s development.

She added: “His exceptional global brand and media expertise, together with his track record in finance and operations, will be invaluable as we continue to combine proven strategies and innovative execution to drive growth in the mobile digital age.

“John’s appointment positions us strongly to optimise the significant opportunities available to the brand by channel, region and product division, and to unlock the potential of unprecedented changes in consumer behaviour.

“He will be a tremendous addition to our closely connected global team.”

Working with existing teams, Smith will be tasked with driving the operational execution of Burberry’s strategies with a firm focus on digital media and mobile technology.

Last month, the British label announced a total sales rise of nine per cent to £613 million over its third quarter while online sales “outperformed” thanks to consistent investment in innovation, Burberry said.

Smith said that this is an exciting period of change for the brand, adding that he understands the opportunities that exist for global expansion as well as the “unique culture” of the label thanks to his three years on the board already.

Smith concluded: “Having had the chance to develop one great British brand on the global stage, it is my privilege now to begin a new chapter at another.

“Burberry is a business with exceptional future prospects and I look forward to playing a part in the next phase of its growth.”

Published on Thursday 07 February by Editorial Assistant

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