Ex-HRG CEO joins Debenhams parent company
Debenhams Group has appointed John Walden and Kevin Conroy as non-executive directors of Celine Jersey Topco, the group’s parent company.
John Walden was formerly CEO of Home Retail Group and its principal subsidiary Argos, and he stepped down following the sale of Argos to Sainsburys in 2016. John has also held senior management roles at Best Buy Co and Sears Holdings in the US. He is currently chairman of Naked Wines (formerly known as Majestic Wine) and was previously executive chairman of Holland & Barrett International. He also served on the advisory board of L1 Retail until October 2019.
Kevin Conroy is the founder and CEO of Conroy Media, which provides advisory services for an array of early-stage and high-growth companies. Kevin was formerly president of digital and media for MGM. He has held a range of senior global, strategic and operational roles at Univision, AOL and Bertelsmann, among others. He is currently also a non-executive director of Mattress Firm and has previously served on the boards of Newell Brands and Sotheby’s.
Mark Gifford, chairman of Celine Jersey Topco, says: “We are delighted to appoint two such distinguished figures to the board. John brings multi-line and multichannel expertise with a deep understanding of the UK retail environment, while Kevin’s digital/online experience and entrepreneurial background, with a wide-ranging international perspective will be very valuable. I know Stefaan and the operational team will welcome their insight and strategic understanding. We are assembling a strong board and, with a supportive investor group, substantial resources and a clear plan, Debenhams is well set to implement its turnaround.”