Boden boss leaves amid uncertain future
Written by Peter Walker
Boden’s chief executive is set to leave at the end of this year, after three years in the role.
Jill Easterbrook, who previously headed Tesco’s clothing division, told the board she wanted to step down and build her portfolio of non-executive directorships at other companies.
She is currently a non-executive director at AutoTrader, where she chairs the remuneration committee.
The announcement came as the fashion retailer released its results full-year results, which warned that a tough retail environment is likely to impact profits this year.
Under Easterbrook’s watch sales were up 10 per cent to £383 million during the year to 31 December, while pre-tax profit rose to £30 million, driven by US sales rising 850 per cent to £145 million.
However, she warned that Boden has “felt the impact of ongoing consumer uncertainty in the current financial year” and that the “macro environment and our continued investment is likely to have a negative impact on profitability this year”.
Founder Johnnie Boden said Easterbrook had contributed a “huge amount” to the business. “She has been instrumental in building Boden for the future and driving our ambition as an international, digital-first, multi-channel business,” he added.
During the last three years, Boden’s sales and profits have grown both in the UK and abroad, while the predominantly-online retailer also opened its first flagship store in King’s Road, Chelsea.
Easterbrook will stay until the end of 2019 to assist with the transition and search for her replacement, while finance boss Paul O’Leary will become chief operating officer.