Theo Fennell chief leaves retailer for the second time as replacement is sought

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Theo Fennell, the premium jewellery retailer, has parted with its chief executive Barbara Snoad for the second time at a difficult period for the chain.

The retailer, which issued a profits warning in January, said she had left by "mutual consent" with immediate effect. A Theo Fennell spokesman declined to elaborate on her reasons for leaving, the length of her contract – which is thought to be 12 months – or whether she will receive a full pay-off.

Ms Snoad had only returned to the retailer – the jeweller for celebrities including Elton John and Naomi Campbell – in May 2009. It was unclear if she had a job to go to. She had previously been at the company for six years before leaving at the end of 2007.

The eponymous founder Theo Fennell – the creative director who returned in 2009 to aid the turnaround – will take over the running of the business in the interim until it finds a replacement for Ms Snoad. Rupert Hambro, the chairman of Theo Fennell, said: "Barbara has been an integral part of a successful turnaround of the business during a challenging period."

Theo Fennell last made a pre-tax profit of just £1.4m for the year ending March 2008. However, its losses ballooned to £3.34m the following year before falling back to a deficit of £350,000 for the year to March 2010 under Ms Snoad's leadership.

But Theo Fennell blamed the heavy snowfall in December for a profits warning in January. Yesterday, the company said it "continues" its expansion, both in the UK and overseas, and is "performing satisfactorily in all areas". It also said the October launch of Alias, its affordable line of silver jewellery priced from £70 to about £2,000, continues to "meet with success and increasing sales".

Directors leave Maplin

Three directors have left Maplin Electronics after the specialist electricals retailer deemed them surplus to requirements. Stephen Milner, its logistics director; Stephen Lynas, the human resources director; and Loz Saunders, the property and merchandising director, left 11 days ago to "pursue other interests".

Dave Whittle, the managing director of Maplin, which is owned by the private equity firm Montagu, thanked them for their contribution. He said:"We are constantly looking at ways to streamline our operational activity and we have focused our efforts on minimizing costs and speeding up decision making." Maplin's owners canned a process to sell the business recently.