Robert Swannell has stepped down from his position as Chairman of the HMV Group Board, it was confirmed today.
Philip Rowley will replace him as non-executive Chairman after serving on the company’s board for over three years, but Swannell will remain as a non-executive director.
Following his appointment as Chairman of Marks & Spencer in August last year Swannell has found that he could not devote enough time to his HMV commitments, which led to today’s decision.
Swannell said: “I have recognised that the time requirements for the Chairman of HMV have changed. I care deeply about this business and the team which leads it.
“I am pleased to stay on the board and to support Philip, who is particularly well qualified, in his new role.”
To lose the leadership of such a successful retail industry figure will be a blow to HMV at a time when its finances are under such pressure, as demonstrated in the trading statement published this morning.
Rowley has a wealth of experience himself, however, and knows the business well having joined the HMV board in October 2007 and been a senior independent non-executive director since February 2010.
Before this Rowley held a number of senior positions at international companies including AOL Europe, Kingfisher, EMI Music and Golden Books Family Entertainment.
Simon Fox, CEO of HMV, commented: “We are all very grateful to Robert for his leadership during his time as Chairman and are delighted that he will remain on the board as a non-executive director.
“We believe that Philip with his wealth of experience across the entertainment industry is ideally qualified to guide HMV Group as it moves forward.”