Mothercare chairman Alan Parker has shown chief executive Simon Calver the door less than two years into the job following a disastrous profit warning last month after he instigated huge and ill-judged discounting in the build-up to Christmas.
Calver’s resignation was today announced, and he will walk away with almost £300,000, including £250,000 in lieu of his six-month notice period and a £44,540 pension payment.
Parker said: “Simon Calver’s e-commerce expertise has allowed Mothercare to accelerate its development as a multi-channel retailer in the UK.
"We wish him well in the future. Mothercare has a strong executive management team which is very capable of running the business in the interim while the search for a new CEO is under way.”
The chairman and City grandee also saw previous chief executive Ben Gordon leave by mutual consent in 2012.
Calver said: “Although there is more to do, I feel the time is right for somebody else to take up the challenge as I pursue other opportunities. I believe Mothercare is fortunate to have an outstanding team in place and I wish the company well in its future endeavours.”
The board begin its search for a new boss today. Calver will stay in a transitional role until the end of March.
Mothercare has spent several years losing customers to rivals, and Calver was brought in to improve the company’s woeful website. However, sources suggested he left because of his limited ability for driving the bottom line after January’s profit warning.
He had started a three-year turnaround plan to see the UK turn a profit for the first time in years, but his plans were seriously dented last month after profit guidance for the group was halved to £8 million.