Feb 1, 2019
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Is acting Debenhams chair mulling move to Moss Bros?

Feb 1, 2019

Moss Bros is on the lookout for a new chair to replace the outgoing Debbie Hewitt and Terry Duddy is on the shortlist, according to reports.

Will Terry Duddy pack up his belongings at Debenhams and move to Moss Bros later this year? - Moss Bros

Sky News reported that he has been “sounded out” about the chairman’s role at the menswear specialist. Current chair Hewitt will leave later this year.

Duddy is a well-respected retail executive who was once CEO of Home Retail Group, which owned Argos and Homebase. He was thrust back into the spotlight a few weeks back when Debenhams’ chairman Sir Ian Cheshire resigned after being ousted from the board at the AGM by Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley, a major Debenhams shareholder.

Duddy stepped up from being the senior independent director at the department stores chain to take over as interim chairman, no small task given the challenges the retailer faces at present.

Duddy also stepped down early from his position as senior independent director at property giant Hammerson last week due to the enlarged workload at Debenhams as the firm deals with store closures, job cuts, financing issues and much more.

It’s not known who else Moss Bros might be speaking to about the chairman’s post. But if Duddy does end up there, he’ll face a number of that firm’s own unique challenges.

Its suit hire business is continuing to decline and while it has largely dealt with the stock issues that dented its 2018 performance, it has struggled to reignite sales growth and has been forced to discount more heavily than planned.

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