// Mothercare CEO Mark Newton-Jones announced resignation
// The retailer’s CFO will stand in as interim CEO
// Mothercare chairman Clive Whiley will become non-executive chairman with effect from March 29
Mothercare chief executive Mark Newton-Jones has today stepped down as part of the retailer’s transformation plans.
Glyn Hughes, who has been chief financial officer throughout the restructuring period, has been drafted in as interim chief executive officer with immediate effect.
Newton-Jones will remain as an executive director until July.
- Mothercare strikes partnership deal with Boots
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Meanwhile, corporate development director of Mothercare, Andrew Cook, who has served since April 2019, has been promoted to chief financial officer with immediate effect.
Mothercare chairman Clive Whiley will become non-executive chairman with effect from March 29.
In early November, Mothercare’s UK business appointed administrators, which put 2800 jobs at risk, while 79 of its stores in the UK were confirmed for closure.
The retailer appointed Zelf Hussain, Toby Banfield, and David Baxendale of PwC as administrators for Mothercare UK and Mothercare Business Services (MBS), which is responsible for Mothercare UK’s back-office functions, including finance, HR, property and IT.
Mothercare said it would strengthen its global brand, and improve the product design, marketing and distribution of Mothercare products globally to its franchisees.
In December, it signed a franchise deal with health and beauty retailer Boots UK, which will see it stock Mothercare-branded clothing, and home and travel products, including pushchairs and car seats.
The retailer said it is ”broadly on track” with the planned recapitalisation of the group, and has completed the raising of £8.7 million from its existing investors.
It added that there has been a “substantial reduction” in the bank debt of the group through the administration of Mothercare UK.
The group’s existing £24 million debt facilities owed to the company’s current lenders are secured over the group as a whole.
The administration of Mothercare UK has resulted in a substantial reduction in the amounts owed. Though, this reduction has been ”behind expectations, with a shortfall arising from the Mothercare UK stock clearance and liquidation”.
“As we approach the completion of our transformation plan, Mothercare – one of the leading global brands for parents and young children – once more has a brighter future ahead as a solvent and cash-generative group,” Mothercare UK chairman Clive Whiley said.
“We have made good progress with the transformation plan and the risks to achieving the outcomes we laid out in November are increasingly dissipated.
“Our plans for the final steps of the recapitalisation of the group are in hand and, while the cash realisation from the Mothercare UK administration was lower than anticipated, the progress that we have made elsewhere means that the financing requirement overall is unchanged from our original plans.
“The board changes announced today align the management of Mothercare with that of its new structure as an international franchise brand and will contribute to a further overhead reduction.
“In time we plan to add relevant skills and expertise – particularly in brand and product management – to the team to accelerate our development as an international brand owner and operator.
“I would like to thank Mark for his contribution to the business over what has proved to be a turbulent period and I am delighted that we will be able to call upon his retail experience as we go forward.”
In its most recent results, Mothercare’s total UK sales dropped 23.2 per cent for the 15 weeks to July 13 as a result of its store closure programme.
Online sales dropped 12.1 per cent, while total group sales fell by 9.2 per cent.