Swathes of Debenhams senior staff cut amid “savage” cull

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Debenhams has driven a major shakeup of senior staff, ousting numerous veterans while appointing a new digital director.

According to Drapers, six senior employees who have worked for the department store for more than a decade have been culled amid a wide-ranging consultation process.

Menswear and childrenswear director of buying Paul Baldwin, head of menswear Julian Fuller, buying director Rob Faucherand, womenswear head of buying Diane Frankel, womenswear casual head of buying Alice Duggan, and head of design Russell Fish have all departed the business.

Meanwhile former online director at Estee Lauder Charlotte Burrows was appointed as digital director on May 1.

The major changes come amid a torrid time for the retailer, which last month reported an 84 per cent decline in pre-tax profits for its half year to March 3, while revenue fell 1.6 per cent to £1.65 billion.

According to one source who spoke to Drapers, this “savage” cull is a reaction to its current financial situation.

Speaking amid its half year results last month, chief executive Sergio Bucher said: “It has not been an easy first half and the extreme weather in the final week of the half had a material impact on our results.

“We approach the remainder of the year mindful of the very challenging market conditions, but with confidence that we have a strong team and the right plan to navigate them and return Debenhams to profitable growth.”

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