// Debenhams appoints John Walden & Kevin Conroy to the board of its parent company Celine Jersey Topco
// Walden was CEO of Home Retail Group until it sold subsidiaries Argos & Habitat to Sainsbury’s in 2016
// Conroy is founder and CEO of Conroy Media
Debenhams has appointed two new non-executive directors to the board of its parent company Celine Jersey Topco.
One of the new board members is John Walden, who was chief executive of Home Retail Group until it sold subsidiaries Argos and Habitat to Sainsbury’s in 2016.
He is currently the chairman of Naked Wines.
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Joining him on the Debenhams board will be Conroy Media founder and chief executive Kevin Conroy. He is also a non-executive director at Mattress Firm
An exact date of when John Walden and Kevin Conroy’s appointment would be effective was not specified by Debenhams.
Celine Jersey Topco is the name of the consortium of lenders that took control of Debenhams in April, buying it out of administration in a debt-for equity swap deal.
“I know [Debenhams chief executive] Stefaan [Vansteenkiste] and the operational team will welcome their insight and strategic understanding,” Celine Jersey Topco chairman Mark Gifford said.
“We are assembling a strong board and, with a supportive investor group, substantial resources and a clear plan, Debenhams is well set to implement its turnaround.”
The news comes a day after it was revealed that Debenhams property director Clive Bentley had left the retailer, after he was hired to oversee its CVA.
It is understood Bentley left as his contract had come to an end.
As part of its CVA, Debenhams said it would operate as usual until Christmas, but by January it will shut down 22 stores and rent reductions or lease negotiations on a further 105 stores will have been sought.
After the initial batch of store closures, Debenhams will eventually close down a total of 50 of its 166 stores.
Thousands of jobs are estimated to be cut as a result of the CVA process.