Debenhams appoints new finance chief

Rachel Obsorne will join Debenhams as CFO in September. Picture: Contributed
Rachel Obsorne will join Debenhams as CFO in September. Picture: Contributed
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Embattled retailer Debenhams has appointed a former Domino’s Pizza executive as its new finance chief.

The group said Rachel Osborne, who has also previously worked at John Lewis and B&Q owner Kingfisher, will join the department store chain on 17 September.

She will replace Matt Smith, who announced his departure in April to take up a post as finance director at Selfridges.

Osborne, most recently chief financial officer at Domino’s, said: “I am delighted to be joining Debenhams.

“This is a challenging time for UK retail, but Debenhams has a strong heritage, leading market positions and a credible plan for its future. I look forward to being part of the team delivering the transformation.”

Osborne, a non-executive director of Dunelm Group, will join on a basic salary of £439,000 and the maximum level of variable remuneration will be 200 per cent of that figure. She will also participate in the company’s executive director bonus scheme, with a maximum bonus opportunity of 100 per cent of salary.

The announcement comes just days after Debenhams said it would cut up to 90 staff at its fashion and home departments. In June, the group issued its third profit warning this year, as trading came in “below plan”.

To compound matters, Debenhams is also the subject of takeover talk, with speculation building that Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley, who owns just under 30 per cent of the department store, is set to merge it with his newly acquired House of Fraser.