Moss Bros finance director steps down

Moss Bros, the beleaguered formalwear retailer that has again become the subject of takeover speculation, yesterday parted company with its finance director in favour of a turnaround specialist.

The move to replace Richard Scott, who joined Moss Bros in November 2000, completes the boardroom shake-up that has seen the menswear chain replace all of the senior executives responsible for the group's fall into the red after it flirted disastrously with casual clothing.

Roddy Murray, 41, joins from Mackays Stores, the Scottish discount retailer, where, as finance director, he helped to mastermind a four-year recovery programme. Mr Murray will receive a basic salary of £135,000 a year plus an additional 50 per cent as a performance-related bonus.

Adrian Wright, the chief executive who joined Moss Bros in March from Bluewater shopping centre, said the new team would be able "to address the critical business issues we have identified and drive improved performance".

One retail analyst expressed his surprise at the reshuffle, noting it had been Mr Scott who signalled the need to abandon Moss Bros's ill-fated attempt to enter the leisurewear market through its Code brand. "He may have been pushed," the analyst said.

A spokesman for Moss Bros said: "The next stage of Moss Bros's recovery programme [based on re-embracing its suit hire business] needed a recovery specialist."

It emerged this week that Moss Bros is being stalked by Harold Tillman, the colourful rag trade entrepreneur.