New Look appoints former Sainsbury’s CEO to lead recovery

New Look has announced that former Sainsbury’s chief executive officer (CEO) Mike Coupe is to join the company as non-executive chairman from September.

Coupe, who served as CEO of Sainsbury’s for over six years until 2020, will succeed Alistair McGeorge in leading the clothing retailer’s recovery following the pandemic.

During his tenure at Sainsbury’s Coupe led the growth of its Tu Clothing business and the successful acquisitions of Home Retail Group (the former parent company of Argos and Habitat) and Nectar.

He is also non-executive chairman of Oak Furnitureland and Harding Retail.

Alistair McGeorge, outgoing Non-Executive Chairman, said: “After four years as chairman, now is the right time for me to stand down. New Look is in a remarkably better position now than it was when I returned to it in 2017. This is fundamentally due to decisive actions taken to restructure the business operationally and financially, and to recover the broad appeal fashion and great value that New Look is known for, which has been led by Nigel [Oddy] and his team.

“I leave the business in incredibly capable hands and the Company will benefit greatly from Mike’s invaluable expertise, experience and oversight as it looks to continue on the positive trajectory it is set on.”

McGeorge stepped back from day-to-day operations to become non-executive chairman in January 2020, following the appointment of Nigel Oddy as chief executive officer.

Over the past 18 months he has worked closely with Oddy in overseeing the management of the business through the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 CVA and recapitalisation, which New Look said had “established a firm foundation for the Company’s future growth.”

Mike Coupe, incoming non-executive chairman, said: “I am delighted to be joining New Look at this moment in time. As a leading womenswear brand known for its broad appeal fashion, the business has a significant opportunity to capitalise on through its omnichannel model and loyal customer base. I am looking forward to working closely with Nigel and the rest of his team to deliver long-term and sustainable growth.”

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