MOTHERCARE chief executive Simon Calver has stepped down just six weeks after a hefty profits warning that sent shares in the baby products chain tumbling by more than a third.
The firm brought in the former head of online movie rental service Lovefilm two years ago to lead its turnaround and overhaul its UK estate.
But Calver’s efforts to cut costs, revamp underperforming stores and grow its online platform have struggled to make a difference in the face of stiff competition from supermarkets and online rivals such as Morrisons’ Kiddicare business.
The board, led by chairman Alan Parker, is understood to have conducted a review of the business following its profit warning in January and decided that it needed a chief executive with a different set of skills to tackle trading and margin challenges.
Parker said: “Calver’s e-commerce expertise has allowed Mothercare to accelerate its development as a multi-channel retailer in the UK. We wish him well in the future.”
Mothercare said its executive management team will take over the day-to-day running of the business while it searches for a replacement.
Calver, who will stay on in a transitional role until the end of March said: “Although there is more to do, I feel the time is right for somebody else to take up the challenge as I pursue other opportunities.”
Instead of a six months’ notice period Calver will walk away with a £250,000 payment and £44,540 in benefits. Shares edged up 1.2 per cent yesterday on the news.