Debenhams has appointed a new CEO, Stefaan Vansteenkiste.

Stefaan joined Debenhams this April as its chief restructuring officer, and has been working closely with the executive team on a new business plan to deliver a turnaround for the retailer. 

An experienced turnaround expert at professional services firm, Alvarez & Marsal, Stefaan is an experienced CEO and retail operator, having worked with the likes of lntertoys, Vion Food Group, Diam International and Bally Shoes, and, before that, holding senior management roles at theme parks Six Flags and Taco Bell.

Debenhams' group chairman Terry Duddy will work with Stefaan to ensure an orderly handover and then step down from the board in September. Terry comments: "We concluded that he is the right person to take the business forward into the next phase of its recovery. Stefaan has already made a strong contribution since joining Debenhams, and has the support of our investor consortium to drive forward our turnaround plan." 

Stefaan adds: "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."