Mothercare names David Wood new CEO as Newton-Jones exits
In a move that was perhaps inevitable given its current big problems, Mothercare on Wednesday named a new CEO. David Wood is taking over with immediate effect, the company saying that the “appointment ensures that Mothercare has in place fresh leadership to complete its transformation plan and return to growth.”
Mark Newton-Jones, who has been trying to turn around the mother and baby products retailer, has stepped down as CEO.
So who is David Wood? The company said that he has “considerable experience gained across a number of international consumer-facing brands, with a strong track record for turning around and growing retail businesses.”
He was previously Group President of Kmart Holding Corp, a $3bn US grocery retail and pharmaceutical business, where he “successfully transformed the customer value proposition and retail operating model, returning the business to sustainable profit growth.”
Prior to this, he held a number of senior commercial, marketing and general management positions at Tesco where he achieved similar results in the UK and internationally.
Chairman Alan Parker said that despite its current challenges, "Mothercare is a great brand with a great future.” And Wood must believe that too. His CV suggests that Mothercare is punching above its weight with this appointment, those previous high-level positions being at companies that are much, much bigger than the UK-based chain.
Parker said the business is facing a number of challenges, not least a highly competitive retail environment. But its transformation strategy “is focused on improving the performance of the group in the UK and internationally, ensuring Mothercare has the best store format, digital capabilities and customer offer as well as several actions to reduce central costs.”
He said the company has made positive progress under Newton-Jones, but “it is essential that we have the most effective leadership in place to meet our ambitions for our customers and our shareholders.”
And Wood’s “great track record in similar circumstances across international and consumer facing brands” looks hugely appealing in these circumstances.
Wood said of his new job: ”My immediate focus is to ensure Mothercare is put back on a sound financial footing and deliver a successful plan to improve performance. Central to this will be our customers and their experience, securing [our] reputation as the number one choice for parents."
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