WH Smith loses three executives as Swann swings her axe again
Wednesday 14 January 2004
Kate Swann, the new chief executive of WH Smith, intensified her management cull yesterday by axing three top executives from the beleaguered group's UK retail division.
The move comes days after a disastrous Christmas forced the company to issue a swingeing profit warning and sack Beverley Hodson, the former managing director of UK retail.
Ms Swann, who joined from GUS in November, has charged headhunters with finding some external talent to bolster the team in charge of its core business, which reported flat like-for-like sales over the crucial holiday period.
Ms Swann said the main aim of her latest clear-out was to slim down the size of the management team - from eight to five - promoting "faster decision-making [and] enabling us to tackle the issues we face more quickly".
The casualties were Muriel Stirling, the brand director, Richard Street, the stores director, and Bob Broadbridge, who headed the group's IT systems. No detail of any compensation payout was disclosed because none of the three sits on the main board.
Meanwhile, Simon Marinker, who looks after the group's outlets at airports and train stations, saw his role expanded to include retail operations in the high street business. This left the group searching for someone to fill the newly created role of commercial director. It is also looking for a new retail finance director and has expanded the role to include property and IT.
Ms Swann failed to elaborate on her plans for the rest of the group's 1,200 staff at its head offices in Swindon and London, having warned earlier this month that job losses would follow her review of the business.
WH Smith's travails cap a decade of patchy performance, putting pressure on its chairman, Richard Handover, to step down. The company's former chief executive is due to stay until January 2005.
- 1 Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
iJobs Money & Business
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...
Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses reimbursable: Reach Volunteering: St...