Debenhams appoints Stefaan Vansteenkiste as CEO

August 13, 2019 - United Kingdom

Debenhams has announced the appointment of Stefaan Vansteenkiste as chief executive officer. He joined Debenhams in April 2019 as chief restructuring officer and has been working closely with the executive team on a new business plan to deliver a turnaround. Debenhams is an international, department store destination with a proud British heritage.

Vansteenkiste is an experienced turnaround expert at professional services firm, Alvarez & Marsal. He is a seasoned CEO and retail operator, having served as CEO or advisor at a number of large retail and consumer companies, according to Debenhams.

Terry Duddy, chairman of Debenhams, will work with Stefaan to ensure an orderly handover and then step down from the board in September 2019.

Vansteenkiste is a managing director at Alvarez & Marsal. Since he joined A&M in 2003, he has been involved in a range of turnaround situations, including CEO and other roles at Intertoys, Vion Food Group, Diam International, and Bally Shoes. Previously, he held senior management roles at theme parks Six Flags and Taco Bell among others. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, an MBA from the University of Michigan, and a masters from the University of Antwerp.

“The board welcomes Vansteenkiste’s appointment as CEO. We concluded that he is the right person to take the business forward into the next phase of its recovery. He has already made a strong contribution since joining Debenhams, and has the support of our investor consortium to drive forward our turnaround plan,” Duddy said.

“The retail industry faces a challenging environment and everyone at Debenhams acknowledges that. But we have a clear plan and Debenhams has a great team of people who are committed to delivering it. I am very excited about Debenhams’ strong prospects and with a restructured balance sheet there is a robust platform from which to build a turnaround, based on Debenhams’ clear brand focus, broad customer reach and differentiated product offer,” Vansteenkiste said. (GK)