Mike Ashley’s company has sacked House of Fraser’s senior management and directors team.
The various members of the senior team were fired only weeks after the chain was purchased.
Dismissing the Senior Management
Only weeks after Sports Direct acquired House of Fraser, Mike Ashley’s firm has sacked all directors and senior management. Sports Direct released a single-sentence statement in which it said that “Following the collapse of House of Fraser on August 10 2018, and subsequent calls for an investigation into the circumstances of that collapse, the Company today announces that we have dismissed the former Directors and senior management of House of Fraser.”
Among those now leaving House of Fraser include the company’s CEO, Alex Williamson. As of the time of the writing of this article, Sports Direct had not yet made it clear who would be replacing the management team members it sacked from House of Fraser.
Sports Direct purchased all 58 of House of Fraser’s UK stores, for £90 million. According to consultancy Retail Economics’ Richard Lim, the chain’s new owner has been taking “drastic action following a series of woeful management decisions, clumsy execution and an outdated perception of the UK market.”
Lim went on to state that: “The retailer operates in the part of the industry under the most significant amount of pressure and the race is on to rapidly restructure the business to ensure the takeover is a success.”
According to independent retail analyst, Richard Hyman, he agrees with the assessment that the senior management team was a weak one. However, he called Sports Direct’s decision to remove the existing management team and bring in new leadership was unnecessarily aggressive. “He was always likely to want his own people in there. One might have thought he’d do it in a low key way, avoiding making waves and disruption,” said Hyman.
Hyman went on to add that Mike Ashley is known for being “unconventional” and therefore his decision comes across as an “over-dramatic, heavy handed and unnecessarily negative way of doing it.” He also added that he would have expected that it would have been worthwhile to keep at least some of the original senior management team in the name of maintaining continuity.