Office CEO resigns, COO Kerry van der Merwe steps in
Lorenzo Moretti, the chief executive officer of high street footwear retailer Office, has stepped down after a year in the role.
He joined the company in December last year to replace former CEO Brian McCluskey, who held the top job for more than fifteen years.
Kerry van der Merwe, currently chief operating officer, has stepped in as interim managing director with immediate effect, according to City AM.
She takes over as the company prepares to close up to 15 of its roughly 140 stores in the next two years. Office is planning to exit the loss-making stores as their leases come to an end.
Three ‘problematic’ concessions have also been earmarked for closure.
Owned by South African retailer Truworths, Office is suffering from the same difficulties which have forced many UK retailers to close stores and call in administrators.
In September, its parent company agreed a £32.5 million refinancing deal to secure the future of the high street chain. It blamed tough trading conditions and Brexit uncertainty for Office’s troubled finances, which included a debt pile of more than £40 million.
As chief operating officer of Office, Kerry van der Merwe was previously in charge of finance, IT, HR and property operations. Truworths said the business will be “in strong hands” under her leadership.
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