Chairman for Amber Day

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STACEY ELLIS, a former director of the trading firm Inchcape, has been appointed to chair Amber Day, the troubled owner of the What Everyone Wants discount stores, writes Patrick Hosking.

Mr Ellis, who begins on 1 January, follows Philip Green, the chairman and chief executive, who was ousted in September with a pounds 1.13m pay-off. The search has also begun for two non-executive directors and a chief executive.

At the annual meeting yesterday David Thompson, the stand- in chairman and chief executive, categorically denied he had been investigated by the Serious Fraud Office. He refused to be drawn on reports of an investigation into Amber Day by the Department of Trade and Industry. He stressed that the accounts had been approved by a strong team from the auditors Coopers & Lybrand.

WEW had made like-for-like sales gains in the run-up to Christmas, he said. Total sales, including new space, were more than 10 per cent ahead of last year.