Burberry names chairman designate

Changes continue at British fashion house Burberry following the exit of Christopher Bailey and the arrival of Riccardo Tisci as chief creative officer in March. The luxury brand has announced it has found a successor to chairman Sir John Pearce, who announced his intention to leave by the end of this year.


Burberry

Gerry Murphy, an experienced chair and senior board member, will join Burberry on 17 May and become chairman after the company’s annual shareholder meeting on 12 July. Pearce will step down from the role he has held for more than 16 years on the same date.

Murphy has served at a variety of companies, including British American Tobacco, Merlin Entertainments and Reckitt Benckiser, although none of them in the fashion sector.

He is currently chairman of Tate and Lyle, a multinational agribusiness, and of The Blackstone Group International Partners, a private equity firm in Europe. Before joining Blackstone as a senior managing director in its private equity group, he 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."

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