Stefaan Vansteenkiste joined Debenhams in April 2019 as chief restructuring officer

Stefaan Vansteenkiste joined Debenhams in April 2019 as chief restructuring officer

Stefaan Vansteenkiste, who joined Debenhams earlier this year as chief restructuring officer, has been named the new CEO of the UK department store group.

Vansteenkiste joined Debenhams in April 2019 and has been working closely with the executive team on a new business plan to deliver a turnaround. 

An experienced turnaround expert at professional services firm, Alvarez & Marsal, he has also served as CEO or advisor at a number of large retail and consumer companies including Intertoys, Vion Food Group, Diam International and Bally Shoes. 

His promotion comes three months after former CEO Sergio Bucher officially stepped down ahead of the approval of Debenhams' company voluntary arrangement (CVA) proposals by creditors. Under these plans the retailer is closing about 50 of its 166 UK stores.

Debenhams Group chairman Terry Duddy will work with Vansteenkiste to ensure an orderly handover before he steps down from the board in September.

"We concluded [Vansteenkiste] is the right person to take the business forward into the next phase of its recovery," Duddy says. "Stefaan has already made a strong contribution since joining Debenhams, and has the support of our investor consortium to drive forward our turnaround plan."

Vansteenkiste adds: "I am very excited about Debenhams' strong prospects and with a restructured balance sheet there is a robust platform from which to build a turnaround, based on Debenhams' clear brand focus, broad customer reach and differentiated product offer."

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