Amazon's Sergio Bucher to run Debenhams

Debenhams store Image copyright Reuters

Department store chain Debenhams has appointed an executive from Amazon's European business as its new chief.

Sergio Bucher, who has been vice president for Amazon Fashion Europe since 2013, will take up his role in October. He has previously worked at Puma, Nike and Zara owner Inditex.

Mr Bucher replaces Debenhams' current chief executive, Michael Sharp.

Online retailer Amazon, once famous for its books, has become one of the largest fashion retailers in Europe.

Announcing the appointment, Debenhams chairman Sir Ian Cheshire said: "Sergio's wealth of e-commerce expertise, international experience and clear leadership qualities stood out."

Debenhams own online sales have been growing strongly.

Mr Sharp said last year that he would be standing down. There had been reports that investors were unhappy with the company's performance under his tenure, but Mr Sharp said he had always been clear he would stay five years in the role and then move on.

During his time, he cut back on promotions, strengthened online ordering and delivery options, and added concessions in under-used store space to increase shopper numbers.

He also strengthened the firm's international presence.

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