Debenhams’ co-CEO is leaving the business following the issuance of court orders to wind up its operations after the acquisition deal with online retailer Boohoo was struck this week.
The co-chief executive, Steven Cook, will be exiting the Debenhams business following a four year stint with the department store chain that at the start of this week sold its brand name and online operations to Boohoo.
Cook joined in 2017 from the Candian retailer Holt Renfrew and started out as managing director for fashion and home before he was promoted to co-chief executive in May last year – shortly after Debenhams had filed for its second administration within a year.
A report from Drapers reads that the department store’s remaining management team, led by co-chief executive and chief financial officer, Mike Hazell, will oversee the winding process.
“Steven Cook has decided to step down as co-chief executive and will be leaving the business at the end of the month,” Hazell told staff in a memo.
“In his typically generous way, he has offered to remain available in an advisory capacity for the coming weeks.”
This week, Boohoo Group bought Debenhams out of administration for £55 million in a deal that only covered the department store’s brand assets, eCommerce and website operations, as well as all own-label products across beauty and fashion.
The deal did not include the retailer’s remaining 118 stores and the 10,000 staff that will be left jobless by the wind-down. Boohoo will take control of the Debenhams brand and online operations at the start of its next financial year in March.
On Monday morning – in the hours that followed the announcement of the Boohoo deal – Debenhams was given a winding-up order by Judge Daniel Schaffer at a hearing in the Insolvency and Companies Court.