Simon Calver has today been announced as the new CEO of baby & parent products retailer Mothercare, ending a four month search for someone to fill the role.
Calver joins the retailer from online film rental service Lovefilm where he held the position of CEO for the past seven years, during which time he led the company’s merger with rival Video Island and was in charge last year when it was taken-over by US e-tail giant Amazon.
Capturing the well-respected executive represents a coup for Mothercare, which also owns the Early Learning Centre chain of stores, after being without a CEO since experienced retailer Ben Gordon stepped down from the company last October.
Gordon resigned following a profits warning from the retailer caused by reduced trading levels in its core UK market, but during his tenure he successfully established Mothercare in several emerging countries and Calver will now be expecting to continue and expand on this global success.
Alan Parker, Chairman of Mothercare, commented: “Simon Calver is a highly successful business leader with experience heading multinational consumer facing organisations.
“His e-commerce and brand expertise will enable Mothercare to accelerate its development as a multi-channel retailer in the UK and his international perspective will be invaluable to the continued rapid expansion of Mothercare and Early Learning Centre globally.”
Losses in the first half of Mothercare’s financial year topped £81 million, and in its most recent trading statement like-for-like sales were reported to have declined a further three per cent year-on-year in the 13 weeks to January 7th 2012.
Yesterday the retailer announced a new partnership with Jools Oliver which has seen the celebrity design a new range of clothes and accessories for infants, part of the firm’s strategy to boost its UK profile and compete better with domestic rivals such as the Morrisons-backed e-tailer Kiddicare.
Before joining Lovefilm Calver was President and Chief Operating Officer at educational software development firm Riverdeep, and he has also held senior positions at international companies Dell Computer Corporation and PepsiCo.
“I am delighted to be joining Mothercare and to have the opportunity to lead this iconic company as we work to consolidate its position as one of the world’s leading parenting groups,” Calver said today.
“Whilst there are near term challenges ahead, I am committed to the recovery of the UK business and the accelerated growth of these aspirational brands around the world.”