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Debenhams senior director departs in department store reshuffle

Debenhams has parted ways with one of its longest-serving directors as part of new boss Sergio Bucher's attempt to revive and overhaul the department store chain.
Suzanne Harlow, who has been with the business for 23 years and trading director since 2013, had been tipped as the sole internal candidate to take the helm of Debenhams when Michael Sharp stepped down in October 2015 after four years of declining profits
Instead, the department store named former Amazon fashion boss and senior Nike director Sergio Bucher as its next chief executive.
Since taking the reins, Sergio Bucher has attempted to turnaround the business with a "Debenhams Redesigned" strategy, which focuses on beauty sales and making the chain more appealing to more mobile shoppers. So far this has underwhelmed investors who had hoped that he would be more radical with his plans. The company's shares are now trading more than a quarter below where they were at the start of the year.
Debenhams share price
The company said on Thursday that its "period of rapid transformation" would mean creating  three new business units: fashion and home, beauty and beauty services, and food and events. As a result, Suzanne Harlow's board role of group trading director "will no longer exist", Debenhams said. 
Debenhams senior director departs in department store reshuffle

Debenhams has made beauty and make-up a major part of its strategy and launched exclusive ranges, such as this one by Kat Von D
The company said that Suzanne Harlow "intends to explore new opportunities elsewhere", but the retail director is receiving a sizeable pay-off that is usually reserved for when a business makes the decision about an employee.
Ms Harlow will receive a full year's salary and benefits, worth last year's ?519,269 in lieu of notice and an additional ?99,000, which includes legal fees, outplacement support and "statutory rights in connection with her departure". She will also be entitled to this year's bonus and share awards should Debenhams hit performance targets.
Ms Harlow, who had previously been a buyer of various divisions at Debenhams and headed their womenswear business, could now be considered a candidate for the new New Look chief executive role after the fashion chain ousted boss Anders Kristiansen last week.
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