Mothercare boss Simon Calver stood down today after less than two years at the helm as the baby accessories retailer continued its turnaround battle.
Calver resigned as chief executive with immediate effect and will be leaving the firm at the end of March.
The former head of Amazon’s Lovefilm online film service joined Mothercare in April 2012 with the hope of turning the struggling retailer around, but last month it reported a 6.1 per cent drop in quarterly sales. The post-Christmas profit warning sent shares tumbling by almost a third.
Mothercare chairman Alan Parker said the chain’s full-year results should meet current City expectations, and its executive team will run the business while the search for a new boss gets underway.
Retail analyst Nick Bubb said Calver’s departure was a shock but did not seem to be connected with current trading. “It looks as if he has paid the eventual price for the Christmas profit warning, with the heavyweight chairman evidently deciding that Mothercare had picked the wrong guy two years ago.
“We recall people saying at the time that Calver was a ‘talker, not a doer’, and two years on, with the UK still losing money and overseas growth unravelling, the chairman must have thought that the time for talking was over.”
Calver will receive a £250,000 payment in lieu of six months’ notice, plus a further £44,540 as compensation for contractual benefits, including pension contributions.