Selfridges group serves up new job for Martha Lane Fox
Monday 29 December 2003
Martha Lane Fox, the co-founder of lastminute.com, is in talks to take a job in the off-line world with Galen Weston, the Canadian tycoon who has just bought Selfridges.
Ms Lane Fox, 30, announced last month that she would step down from her job as group managing director of lastminute by at the end of this year, although at the time she said she had no new role lined up. She has maintained that she cannot hope to repeat the success of lastminute with a new venture of her own. She will remain a non-executive director at the company.
It is understood that Ms Lane Fox, the darling of Britain's internet boom, is not being considered for the job of running Selfridges. Instead, her role could involve either overseeing a group of Mr Weston's holding company Wittington's operations, or managing one of its businesses. It is believed that discussions are continuing between Ms Lane Fox and Wittington.
The chief executive of Selfridges, Peter Williams, put together his own bid for the department store in competition with Wittington, and recently admitted he was "on trial", but his job appears safe for now.
One source said: "There will be no change in the management team at Selfridges."
The connection between Ms Lane Fox and Wittington was brokered by Allan Leighton, the famously well-connected chairman of lastminute. Mr Leighton sits on the board of a number of Mr Weston's companies, including Selfridges.
At the time she revealed her decision to quit lastminute, she told The Independent: "I don't have a definite plan yet. I don't think I'd do a start-up again. I think I've been phenomenally lucky with this one... That's enough internet, I think."
Mr Galen owns bakeries, food distribution businesses and supermarkets in Canada. In Dublin he owns the Brown Thomas department store. He is related to the Weston family behind Associated British Foods, but the two business empires are separate.
Ms Lane Fox started lastminute in 1998 with her friend Brent Hoberman. The company's successful flotation in March 2000 marked the beginning of the end of the City's love affair with the internet. The announcement of her departure, in November, coincided with lastminute's first profits.
She has denied there had been any bust-up or that she had come under pressure to quit. "I've always known I was going to have a finite time in the business. Why [quit] right now? Because we've got to full-year profitability which I've always had in my mind as an important milestone, and in equal significance, we've got exactly the right management team to take the business forward."
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...