Heritage British fashion house Burberry has named Gerry Murphy chairman designate, effective 12 July 2018.
Murphy will join the luxury brand on May 17 and will replace the departing Sir John Peace who is leaving his post as Burberry chairman and from the board after 16 years, in July.
Murphy will come to Burberry from Tate and Lyle and The Blackstone Group International Partners, where he is currently chairman. He has also in the past served on the boards of companies such as British American Tobacco, Merlin Entertainments and consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser.
Previously, Murphy has served as CEO at home improvement group Kingfisher, Carlton Communications, logistics company Exel and Greencore Group, a manufacturer of convenience food.
Burberry senior independent director Jeremy Darroch, who led the search for a new chairman, commented on Murphy’s appointment: “His substantial UK plc and global business experience will be a great asset to Burberry as we continue to focus on delivering long-term shareholder value.”
Outgoing chairman John Pearce added: “I would like to thank current and past board members for their partnership over the past 16 years and Jeremy Darroch for leading the process to find Burberry’s next chairman. In Gerry Murphy, we have found a superb candidate with extensive experience in the consumer and retail industries. I am confident he is the right choice to lead the board as Burberry embarks on a new chapter.”
The chairman change comes to British fashion house following the exit of Christopher Bailey and the arrival of Riccardo Tisci as chief creative officer, in March.
Over the last financial – and Holiday – quarter, as reported in January, Burberry comparable stores sales rose 2%, down from a 3% rise a year ago, which was less than the 3% rise analysts had predicted.
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Underlying retail revenue rose by 1%, and on a reported basis, sales fell 2% to £719 million. By region, Asia Pacific comparable sales rose by a mid-single-digit percentage. Mainland China grew at the same rate, although Hong Kong was broadly flat but with “improved domestic trends.”