// Only eight female bosses were hired by retailers last year, compared to 11 in 2019
// There is now no female CEO of a FTSE 350 retailer after Karen Hubbard left Card Factory last year
// Meanwhile, only two people from ethnic minorities became retail CEOs in 2020
Only eight female bosses were hired by retailers last year and only two people from ethnic minorities became retail chief executives, according to a new report.
The number of female bosses is down from the 11 appointed in 2019, headhunter firm Korn Ferry said in its annual CEO tracker.
In addition, there is now no female chief executive of a FTSE 350 retailer after Karen Hubbard left the helm of Card Factory last year.
The CEO tracker also found no material improvement in the number of female chief executives appointed in the last five years.
The eight female appointments last year were Emma Fox Berry at Bros & Rudd, Leanne Cahill at Bravissimo, Jan Marchant at Tesco’s F&F clothing label, Hannah Colman at Jimmy Choo, John Lewis executive director Pippa Wicks, McArthurGlen co-chief executive Susie McCabe, N Brown head of retail Sarah Welsh, and Rachel Osborne at Ted Baker.
Meanwhile, the two people from ethnic minorities who became retail chief executives last year were Ajay Kavan at Matchesfashion and Chirag Patel at Pentland Brands, the majority shareholder in JD Sports.
Korn Ferry also found that 33 chief executives were hired in 2020, with five vacant seats still left to fill.
This was down 30 per cent compared to the 47 hired in 2019.
“The reluctance to change CEO last year reflected a mood among several chairs of ‘better the devil you know’,” Korn Ferry EMEA managing director Sarah Lim said.
“Given the widespread nervousness about future trading, there was a preference among many to avoid creating any more uncertainty or risk by changing out CEO in the midst of the pandemic, unless no other choice was available.”