Next rescuer Sir David Jones dies aged 76

Next Sir David Jones
Sir David Jones turned Next around when it was on the brink of collapse
// The former Next boss Sir David Jones has died at the age of 76
// Jones was known for turning the fashion retailer around

The former chief executive of Next, Sir David Jones, has died at the age of 76, the retailer has confirmed.

Jones was credited for rescuing Next and turning it into a powerhouse at a time when it was on the brink of collapse in the 1990s.

“It is with great sadness that Next records the passing of its former chairman and chief executive Sir David Jones CBE over the weekend,” Next said in a statement.

READ MORE: Next submits plans for new £125m West Yorkshire warehouse

“David will be remembered by many of his colleagues as the man whose courage, good sense, kindness and hard work navigated the company through its most demanding moments in the late 1980s until his retirement in 2006.

“David was a true friend of Next and our thoughts are with his family at this time.”

Jones, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 39, also had board positions at Morrisons and JJB Sports.

He joined Next from the Grattan catalogue business in 1986 and was made chief executive two years later following the ousting of the retailer’s founder George Davies.

Jones turned Next around when it was on the brink of collapse, and it became the third-biggest fashion chain in the UK behind Marks & Spencer and Arcadia’s portfolio of retailers.

In 2002, he took over as chairman, appointing his former assistant Lord Wolfson as his successor.

In 2013, Next ended up on trial after it was accused of forging a bank statement to disguise the fact that he had borrowed £1.5 million from JJB founder Dave Whelan.

Leeds Crown Court heard at the time that Jones was heavily in debt, “possibly due to gambling”.

The prosecution case against him also said that he borrowed another £1.5 million from Sports Direct founder and chief executive Mike Ashley.

However, due to his deteriorating health, the trial was abandoned.

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