Shop Direct names head of RBS's Lombard Alex Baldock as its new chief


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The Independent Online

Shop Direct, the online retailer owned by Sir David (pictured, left) and Sir Frederick Barclay, has hired the managing director of a Royal Bank of Scotland division as its new chief executive.

Alex Baldock, the head of RBS's Lombard, the asset finance lender to businesses, will join the owner of the Littlewoods catalogue in September. He replaces Mark Newton-Jones, who will leave the business before July 2013. Hiring Mr Baldock reflects the complex business model of Shop Direct, whose online and catalogue retail business relies heavily on offering credit to consumers.

Mr Baldock said: "I am not here as a retailer. I am here as a leader with a record of profitable growth at scaled businesses."

He joined Lombard from the bank Barclays in 2008. Mr Baldock also advised retail clients, including Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser, as a consultant at Bain & Company, Ernst & Young, and Dentsu. Shop Direct posted underlying profits of £92m last year.