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Truworths CEO designate quits
Truworths CEO designate quits

Truworths CEO designate quits

RETAILER NEWS - Dec 8th 2015, 09:58

Truworths CEO designate Jean-Christophe Garbino, who was officially meant to take the helm last July, has resigned. 

The former boss of France’s Kiabi fashion chain was named the successor to Truworths’ longstanding CEO Michael Mark last November and joined the company in March. However, Mr Garbino did not take the helm as Mr Mark continued to "support" the transition process in his CEO capacity.

Mr Mark has been CEO for 23 years and has been credited with establishing one of the country’s most successful apparel retailers. However, despite its strong operating metrics, the fashion player has recently come under fire for failing to react and protect its market share against changing market dynamics and the entry of global giants such as Cotton On, H&M and Zara.

Friday’s statement said Mr Mark had committed himself to remain CEO for two years.

Chris Gilmour, an analyst at Absa Investments, said Friday’s shock announcement suggested something "untoward".

"It doesn’t sound right — something reeks. I do not know if he even physically ever took over from Michael Mark in the first place. They needed someone new to breathe life into the business. Truworths is not what it once was. It does not hold its iconic status. Mr Price, Woolies and The Foschini Group have taken them over," he said.

One analyst, who declined to be named, said that Mr Mark did not seem to want to let go of the reins.

This month, Truworths acquired a majority stake in UK high-street footwear retailer Office for £256m.

"Mr Mark was supposed to oversee the buyout of Office and leave the SA operation to Garbino, but Truworths is his life — he doesn’t want to give up control," the analyst said.From DFM Publishers (Pty) Ltd 

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