Department store group Debenhams Plc today (29 January) named Nigel Northridge as its new chairman following the retirement of John Lovering.

Mr Northridge, who joined the Debenhams board on 1 January, will take up his new post on 1 April.

He is currently chairman of Paddy Power Plc, senior independent director of Aggreko Plc and non-executive director of Thomas Cook Group Plc and Inchcape Plc - and spent 32 years with tobacco firm Gallaher, rising to group chief executive in 2000.

Debenhams chief executive Rob Templeman described Northridge as "an outstanding candidate, adding: "Nigel has a wealth of experience in a number of businesses and industries which will be a major resource for the company.

"We look forward to his guidance as we anticipate the continued growth and development of Debenhams."