// Selfridges’ managing director leaves after just over a year in the position
// Predecessor Anne Pitcher has stepped in as interim boss
The managing director of upmarket department store Selfridges has left after a little more than a year in the role.
Simon Forster left abruptly last week, according to The Sunday Telegraph, which cited a loss in confidence in his leadership as a reason behind the departure.
While Selfridges said Forster has decided to “pursue other interests”, the paper added that insiders say he left by mutual agreement after concerns were raised over the direction of Selfridges and its culture.
Forster’s predecessor Anne Pitcher has been drafted in as interim managing director.
Pitcher will combine her day-to-day role with her existing job managing Selfridges Group, the umbrella company which includes retailers Brown Thomas and Holt Renfrew.
“I want to thank Simon for the significant contribution he has made to Selfridges over the years. Under his leadership, the business has continued to grow and thrive. Selfridges has a talented leadership team in place, and we continue to build that across the company,” said Pitcher.
The news comes after Selfridges posted a 6 per cent rise in full year sales to £1.85 billion for the financial year ending February 2019.
However, operating profits dropped marginally £175 million to £170 million, which Selfridges attributed to investment in its famous Oxford Street flagship in London.