// Nigel Oddy promoted to CEO of New Look
// Alistair McGeorge steps aside to become non-executive chairman
// Oddy has been COO since March, McGeorge had been executive chairman since November 2017
New Look has promoted Nigel Oddy to lead the retailer as its new chief executive, filling in the position for the first time in more than two years.
Oddy first joined New Look in April as its chief operating officer, and was previously the chief executive of House of Fraser and The Range.
His promotion as New Look’s new boss will be effective from January 1.
- New Look hires ex-House of Fraser CEO Nigel Oddy as operating chief
- New Look half-year sales affected by “ongoing uncertainty”
- New Look books £33m operating profit as turnaround bears fruit
As a result of Oddy’s promotion, Alistair McGeorge will step aside to become New Look’s non-executive chairman, also effective from January 1.
He had been leading the fashion retailer in an executive chairman capacity since November 2017, shortly after Anders Kristiansen resigned as chief executive.
Under McGeorge’s tenure, New Look underwent a major turnaround programme that included a raft of store closures and job cuts via a CVA, ending international operations to focus on its core UK and Irish market, and a financial restructure.
“With the financial restructuring and customer strategy review complete, and as we focus on our retailing excellence, now is the right time for Nigel to become New Look’s CEO and for me to assume a non-executive role in my capacity as chairman,” McGeorge said.
He added: “Nigel has been running the business operationally since he joined us and in a short space of time has made significant improvements to our buying, product, supply chain and omnichannel offer.
“As I have said before, his experience will be a great asset as we continue our transformation, which I am confident we are well positioned to deliver.”
Oddy said: “I am delighted to be appointed CEO at such a pivotal moment in New Look’s development.
“Since joining the business earlier this year, we have focused on strengthening our operational foundations.
“We have already taken decisive steps to broaden the appeal of our product, enhance the customer journey and improve our lead times.
“Following the successful financial restructuring, we have also been able to strengthen our leadership and begin to invest prudently in the business again.
“I look forward to continue working with Alistair and the board, and leading the wider team of 15,000 colleagues, as we continue to build on New Look’s distinctive offer and strong customer heritage.”
For the year ending March 30, New Look reported an underlying operating profit of £33.2 million compared to a loss of £35.7 million the year before.
New Look added that core adjusted EBITDA increased to £80.2 million, compared to £18m the year prior, demonstrating strength in key focus areas following its restructuring scheme.
However, its statutory loss before tax widened to £522.2 million compared to a loss of £190.2 million the year prior, principally driven by £423.3 million in goodwill and brand impairment charge (non-cash) relating to the restructuring.
In addition, the retailer’s full-year revenues declined 3.8 per cent year-on-year to £1.23 billion while like-for-likes dipped 1.6 per cent.
In the half-year period ending September 28 of the current financial year, New Look’s statutory loss before tax came in at £11.2 million, an improvement on the loss of £41.9 million the same half-year period the previous year.
Yet despite narrowed losses, half-year sales dropped from £601.1 million to £523.8 million during the period.