Wolfson made managing director at Next

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NEXT, THE retail group, has promoted Simon Wolfson to the new position of managing director of the Next brand in a move which establishes him as heir apparent to David Jones as chief executive.

Mr Wolfson, 32, was appointed as a main board director two years ago. He is son of Lord Wolfson, the Great Universal chairman who was chairman of Next until March last year.

Mr Jones, 56, said: "I am going to be around for another three to four years and when we get closer to that stage we will make a decision [on the succession]. But you have to assume that he's a front runner."

Describing Mr Wolfson as "an exceptionally bright young man", Mr Jones said the appointment had the full backing of the Next board. He said Mr Wolfson had been instrumental in turning around the group's fortunes after a profits warning last year caused by mistakes.