UK: Former M&S clothing boss quits ASOS
Fin24/ Reuters - Jul 24th, 12:07
London - Kate Bostock, one of the biggest names in Britain's retail industry, has quit ASOS after just seven months, deciding the fast-growing online fashion firm wasn't for her.
Bostock, who started at ASOS as executive director of product and trading in January after eight years at Britain's biggest clothing retailer Marks & Spencer, has resigned and will leave the firm immediately, it said on Tuesday.
Shares in ASOS, which have more than doubled in value over the last year, were down 1.3% to 4 420 pence at 11:00 GMT, valuing the business at £3.6bn ($5.5bn).
ASOS founder and chief executive Nick Robertson said there had not been any row and Bostock would not receive a payoff.
"For a number of reasons she feels it's not for her, so rather than prolong it we just decided to call it a day. You try these things, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't," he told Reuters, adding that Bostock was at his side.
"We're doing well and there's lots of good stuff happening here so it's harder for someone to break into that," he said.
Bostock declined to comment on the phone but said in a statement: "ASOS is a formidable business and I have great respect for the team I have been working with: they are right at the cutting edge of young online fashion. Sadly, I've concluded that ASOS isn't the right place for me."
Robertson had courted Bostock for a year while she was at M&S, seeking an executive to steer the firm's next growth phase.
"ASOS spent a very long time courting her, so the volte face today is embarrassing for both parties, but the transition from a 'big company' culture to a young, entrepreneurial company was always going to be a big ask," said independent retail analyst Nick Bubb.
Launched in 2000 and floated on London's junior AIM market a year later, ASOS is one of the biggest success stories of British retailing in recent times. It is targeting £1bn of annual sales by 2015.
The firm, which targets young women looking to emulate the designer looks of celebrities like Nicole Scherzinger and Cara Delevingne, has been expanding overseas as its home market starts to mature.
Last month it posted a 45% rise in third quarter retail sales.
ASOS said Bostock's role would be fulfilled by the existing retailing team while the board considers whether there is a need to seek a replacement.From Fin24
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