Mothercare hires former Shop Direct boss as interim CEO

Baby products retailer Mothercare has appointed former Shop Direct boss Mark Newton-Jones as interim chief executive after Simon Calver resigned last month.

Mr Calver was ousted after less than two years in charge following a profits warning that caused shares in the retailer to slump more than 30pc, wiping out a year’s gains.

Mr Calver, a former boss of Lovefilm, had bolstered Mothercare’s online service but suffered a sales decline over the critical Christmas trading period. Analysts pointed to Mr Calver’s decision to cancel the company’s free delivery offer as a reason behind the sales fall.

For almost a decade Mr Newton-Jones was chief executive of Shop Direct, which operates Littlewoods and Before that he worked at Next, leading its Directory business.

Mr Newton-Jones will take the role from March 17 but will not gain a seat on the board while Mothercare searches for a permanent replacement.

Mr Calver stood down as chief executive with immediate effect but will stay with Mothercare until the end of March to provide “transitional support”.

Alan Parker, chairman of Mothercare, said that Mr Newton-Jones’ “leadership skills and depth of experience in retailing through stores and online will further enhance our drive to deliver the recovery of the UK business to complement the strong and growing international operations”,


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