Jun 13, 2019
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Mothercare reduces board size in cost-cutting drive

Jun 13, 2019

Troubled maternity and baby products retailer Mothercare has reduced the size of its board of directors and added more restructuring experts as part of its efforts to reverse a string of financial losses.

Speaking at a conference this week, CEO Mark Newton-Jones, who was ousted from the role and then re-hired a month later, said the board has now directors who are more hands-on with the company’s restructuring.

“We had a board that was of a scale appropriate for a much larger company,” he said at a Times CEO Summit panel. “We now have a board that is very operational and is contributing beyond governance.”

Mothercare had a tumultuous 2018, with Mark Newton-Jones fired from his role as CEO by chairman Alan Parker after the company released a set of disappointing results. David Wood, a former boss of US grocery group Kmart, was appointed as new chief executive but he didn’t hold the role for long, as the board announced a few weeks later that Newton-Jones was rejoining as CEO. Alan Parker stepped down as chairman during the tumult.

“It's not often in life there's an injustice followed by a justice, but in this instance I suppose I was quite fortunate,” Mark Newton-Jones said.

Last month, Mothercare released its financial results for the year ended 30 March, hailing its progress after launching a CVA, reorganising its corporate structure and cutting costs.

The company said that the board shakeup will halve its cost next year, and that it now works in a more cohesive way with the operating board.

Despite this, losses for the year widened by almost 20% to £87.3 million, while group revenues fell 7.9% to £1.07 billion.

The British retailer is now focusing on growing its online business and adding more exclusivity to its products.

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