Fortnum & Mason’s new CEO Ewan Venters has rung the changes at the top of the Queen’s grocer, letting go of its trading director and retail director.
Retail director Tim Fisher only joined Fortnum & Mason last summer from Marks & Spencer. He was a former manager at M&S’s flagship Marble Arch store.
Trading director Simon Burdess has a longer history with the retailer. He was hired as buying director from M&S by former MD Beverley Aspinall in 2005.
As well as making the two directors redundant, Venters, who took over from Aspinall as Fortnum & Mason’s boss in August, has made several appointments.
He has recruited Fiona Robino, who has nine years of experience at Harrods, as HR director, and brought in Simon Thompson as brand and client services director from Alfred Dunhill Company. Thompson has responsibility for hospitality, events and corporate sales.
wine and hampers buyer Tim French has also been promoted to the position of buying director.
“The newly appointed team has a wealth of experience and influence that will be invaluable in driving forward the business, as we look forward to another exciting year,” said Venters.
It is understood that replacements will not be sought for Fisher and Burdess.
The latest accounts filed at Companies House in January, revealed a 66% slump in full-year profits. Despite making sales of £59.3m, operating profits were only £350,000 for the year to 15 July 2012.
The Piccadilly-based food emporium was hit by an IT meltdown at its new warehouse in Cambridgeshire in the run-up to Christmas in 2011 which resulted in many customers not receiving their hampers in time.
It was forced to draft in an extra 100 service staff, including Aspinall, to deal with the backlog. However, it enjoyed a better Christmas in 2012, with sales rising 17.3%.
Venters joined Fortnum & Mason last year from Selfridges, where he was head of food and restaurants and its online business.