Debenhams appoints Amazon fashion boss, Sergio Bucher, as new chief executive

Debenhams PLC announced on Thursday that it has appointed Amazon’s European fashion boss, Sergio Bucher, as its new chief executive, replacing Michael Sharp – who said last year that he would be standing down.

The move comes as the department store focuses on improving online sales.

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The retailer is in the middle of a two-year strategic review to increase a decline in profits.

Bucher, who has served as the vice president for Amazon Fashion Europe since 2013, will join the group in October 2016. His expertise in online retail may be what Debenhams needs to boost profits – it has lost a fifth of its market value over the last year.

Bucher lead Amazon Fashion’s growth to become one of the largest fashion retailers in Europe.

Debenhams chairman Sir Ian Cheshire said in an announcement of the appointment: “Following a rigorous recruitment process with some exceptional quality candidates, Sergio’s wealth of e-commerce expertise, international experience and clear leadership qualities stood out.

“I am confident we have the best possible person to realise the potential of ‘new Debenhams’ as a leading international multi-channel retailer with a bright future.”

Bucher also held senior positions at Nike and Zara owner Inditex, where he led the start-up of its lingerie retail brand Oysho.

“I am excited to be joining Debenhams, with its strong UK heritage, a growing international presence and a track record of supporting and developing brands and designers,” said Mr Bucher.

“I look forward to working with its experienced and talented team to take Debenhams forward to an exciting new future.”