The Business On... Rob Templeman, chairman-elect, British Retail Consortium


Isn't he busy with the day job?

Don't worry. Mr Templeman said a couple of months ago that he would stand down as chief executive of Debenhams in September. He isn't due to take over from Luke Mayhew, the incumbent British Retail Consortium chairman, until October.



What does the job involve?

It's a non-executive post with no salary attached, but Mr Templeman will no doubt take his voice of the industry role seriously.



No money? How will he survive?

Having made millions from theflotation of Debenhams in 2006 – he is thought to have shared a £57m payday with two colleagues – he'll probably get by.



Did he own the company then?

No, but he had a substantial stake. He became Debenhams boss in 2003 after successfully leading a private equity consortium-backed group's bid to buy it.



And has he been a success?

Well getting any retailer through the recession is an achievement. But to be fair, Debenhams has performed better than many of its rivals, its reputation for value for money having played well with cash-strapped customers. Mr Templeman is widely respected in retail, even if rivals such as Sir Stuart Rose and Sir Philip Green are better known.



What else has he done?

He first came to prominence during a stint working for Lord Harris of Peckham, the founder of Carpetright. He ran Harveys, the furniture company during the Nineties, and then had senior management roles at both Homebase (where he shared another big windfall on its sale) and Halfords.



What's his approach?

He's always keen to maximise the selling space. At both Harveys and Halfords, he had mezzanine floors added to many stores in order to increase capacity. At Debenhams, he freed up a floor at the Oxford Street store by cutting management jobs.



Any outside interests?

The usual alpha male stuff – the53-year-old is your man for a spot of jet-skiing or powerboat racing.

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