Pressure mounts for Sir Philip Green as Arcadia COO retires

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Sir Philip Green has lost another key employee from his retail empire as it has emerged that the chairman of Arcadia stepped down on the same day as the group's chief operating officer.
Arcadia said Jamie Drummond Smith's decision to step down was "expected".
// One of Sir Philip Green’s key lieutenants has stepped down from Arcadia
// COO David Shepherd resigned at the end of last month
// The departure adds further pressure to Green as he prepares to break up Arcadia

Arcadia chief operating officer David Shepherd has resigned from his role, adding further pressure to Sir Philip Green’s troubled retail empire.

Shepherd had been with the group which owns Topshop and Topman for 25 years, starting off on the shop floor and working his way up to oversee the running of Topman.

He began his role as chief operating officer in 2012.

According to a filing on Companies House, Shepherd resigned from his role at the end of last month.

The resignation follows news of Green’s plot to break up his retail empire – which includes Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Burton, Wallis, Evans and Dorothy Perkins.

Green and Arcadia chief executive Ian Grabiner are reportedly preparing the process of separating the different brands within the group, in a bid to make a sale.

According to The Sunday Times, the idea was originally Grabiner’s, who convinced the tycoon to break up Arcadia in order to offload the brands.

Nonetheless, Arcadia has denied all claims made by The Sunday Times.

An Arcadia spokesperson told Retail Gazette: “Following the formal completion of the CVA process last week, the board is now fully focused on implementing its turnaround plan across all its brands.

“The article in yesterday’s Sunday Times is wholly inaccurate and unfounded. It was written without any attempt to contact the company or any of its advisors.”

Arcadia has had a turbulent 2019 so far.

It secured seven CVAs in June, winning approval from creditors to close 23 stores and reduce rents on nearly 200 others, saving 17,000 jobs.

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