Wednesday 22 August 2018 8:26 am

Debenhams names new finance boss

Retail and leisure reporter

Retail and leisure reporter

Follow Alys Key

Debenhams has named Rachel Osborne as its new chief financial officer at a crucial time for the retailer amid the crisis on the high street.

Osborne is currently finance boss of Domino's Pizza Group, but announced a sudden departure in June, sending the company's shares down five per cent. She was the third CFO of Domino's in just five years.

She has also previously worked at John Lewis, Vodafone and Kingfisher. 

"I am looking forward to working with Rachel," said Debenhams boss Sergio Bucher. "She has deep experience across a variety of retail and customer-facing businesses and her commercial expertise will be invaluable as we build a strong financial foundation to underpin the transformation of Debenhams."

She replaces Matt Smith, who announced his departure in April and will leave the group at the end of August for a new job at Selfridges.

Debenhams's share price has sunk more than 67 per cent over the past year to just over 13p, as the retailer has issued three profit warnings this year alone. But shares were up 1.7 per cent in early trading today following Osborne's appointment.

The collapse of House of Fraser earlier this month also raised questions over the future of the department store model.

Some analysts have even speculated that Mike Ashley, whose company Sports Direct owns almost 30 per cent of Debenhams, could launch a takeover bid for the company and combine it with House of Fraser.

Read more: Mike Ashley to turn House of Fraser into 'Harrods of the high street'