Burberry has revealed the shock departure of its long-standing finance chief Stacey Cartwright.
She took up her role at the British listed luxury giant in 2004 and will leave the board after the group’s annual general meeting in July.
City figures called Cartwright a “very important figure for Burberry” and the news took 4.3% off the share price, making it the worst performer on the benchmark index, down 61p to 1368p.
Seymour Pierce analyst Kate Calvert, said: “Stacey has played an integral role in modernising and rejuvenating the brand. She is chief executive material and has already achieved so much so young with a long and bright future ahead.”
The British luxury brand has drafted in BBC Worldwide veteran John Smith for the newly created job of chief operating officer. Smith has been a non-executive director at Burberry since 2009 and Burberry wants to tap into his wide media experience to develop the brand.
Angela Ahrendts, chief executive officer, said of Smith: “His exceptional global brand and media expertise, together with his track record in finance and operations, will be invaluable… to drive growth in the mobile digital age.”
Smith has 20 years’ experience in media and was chief executive of BBC Worldwide from 2005 until last year when then-BBC director-general George Entwistle reorganised the senior management. Cartwright’s role will be taken on by Carol Fairweather who has worked at Burberry for six years.
Cartwright is taking the summer off before pursuing another role.