At Debenhams' AGM yesterday, chairman Sir Ian Cheshire and CEO Sergio Bucher were both voted off the board by major shareholders.
Sir Ian joined the board in January 2016 and was appointed chairman in April 2016. Given the decision of two major shareholders who voted against his re-election to the board, he concluded it is no longer possible for him to remain chairman of Debenhams plc and stepped down.
Sergio remains in place as CEO, where he will continue to focus on plans to reshape the company.
Terry Duddy, Debenhams' senior independent director, who was appointed interim chairman, said: "I recognise that individual shareholders have wished to register their dissatisfaction. I would like to thank Ian for his strong leadership of the board and his contribution to the business. We wish him all the best for the future. I am looking forward to working with Sergio. My first task is to meet with shareholders so that I understand any concerns that they may have."
Sir Ian Cheshire commented: "It has been a great privilege to get to know my Debenhams colleagues over the past three years. In unprecedented market conditions the team has worked incredibly hard to build a format for the future and a comprehensive plan to reshape the business, which will put Debenhams on the road to recovery and future success."