Now this is interesting. Debenhams (you know, the big department store chain) has named an executive from Amazon (you know, the e-tailer currently sucking sales from big department store chains) as its next CEO.
Joining on October 1, several months after the June departure of Michael Sharp, Sergio Bucher, is currently VP of Amazon Fashion Europe. He’s going to get a basic salary of £0.7m plus bonuses.
Bucher, who had previously worked at Puma, Nike and Inditex, is perhaps a surprise CEO as many analysts expected Debenhams trading director Suzanne Harlow to get the job.
But we all know what swung it for Bucher don’t we? “Sergio’s wealth of e-commerce expertise, international experience and clear leadership qualities stood out,” Debenhams chairman Ian Cheshire said. Or what he could have said was “Amazon has come from nowhere to be on the verge of being the biggest retailer of the goods we sell so we wanted someone who could help us compete!”
The fact is, Amazon’s growth in categories like fashion, beauty and interiors is devastating the high street and as physical retailers expand their e-tail ops further, they need people at the top who really know how to make e-tail work.
I’ll be watching what he does with Debenhams with great interest.