Mothercare today announced that Simon Calver, the current head of Amazon’s LOVEFiLM International unit, would become its Chief Executive at the end of April. Interim CEO Alan Parker will then resume his role as Non-Executive Chairman.
Commenting on the appointment of Calver, who has led the LOVEFiLM online DVD rental service since 2005, Parker said: “He is a highly successful business leader with experience heading multinational consumer facing organisations. His e-commerce and brand expertise will enable Mothercare to accelerate its development as a multi-channel retailer in the UK and his international perspective will be invaluable to the continued rapid expansion of Mothercare and Early Learning Centre globally."
Calver added: "I am delighted to be joining Mothercare and to have the opportunity to lead this iconic company as we work to consolidate its position as one of the world's leading parenting groups. Whilst there are near term challenges ahead, I am committed to the recovery of the UK business and the accelerated growth of these aspirational brands around the world."
Mothercare has been searching for a new head since October when Ben Gordon, its CEO of nine years, quit after a profit warning. Last month, the mother and baby products retailer reported lower third-quarter sales mainly as a result of store closures due to tough economic conditions.
Mothercare is battling intense competition in the UK from supermarkets and internet players, as well as consumer uncertainty in the face of a difficult economic climate. In an urgent bid to cut costs the company is closing more than 100 of its 350 UK stores over a two year period.
Its shares lost a third of their value following the autumn profits warning and have not recovered, although they rose 4% in early trading to 208p on news of Calver's appointment.
NamNews - Wednesday 8th February 2012