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Exclusive: Jigsaw CEO and chairman to step down

Jigsaw’s interim chief executive, Chris Stephenson, is stepping down on 28 January after six months in the role, and chairman Charles Atterton is to retire, Drapers can reveal. 

Stephenson will move into a non-executive position at the retailer.

Group HR director Toby Foreman will assume the role of interim CEO. Jigsaw’s existing team of senior directors will report into Foreman and as a whole to the board and the shareholders.

Atterton worked at Jigsaw for more than 20 years in a variety of roles. He returned to an executive role as Jigsaw’s executive chairman in March. He was joint CEO with Jigsaw’s founder, John Robinson, from 1997 until 2013.

Stephenson was previously global president of activewear at Pentland Brands, and had also held leadership roles at rugby brand Canterbury and 20:20 Mobile. He was dubbed a “turnaround specialist” when his appointment at Jigsaw was announced.

He replaced Peter Ruis, who left the CEO role with immediate effect in March last year and joined Anthropologie in the newly created role of managing director of international at the start of July.

Jigsaw’s UK like-for-like sales for the 10 weeks to 22 December increased 6.3%, compared with the same period last year.

Both own stores and online performed well: like-for-like store sales were up 6%, and online sales up 17% on 2017. Jigsaw said the performance was supported by a “strong product offer, as well as developing the omnichannel customer proposition, including investment online, and a continued focus on the in-store experience”.

The company added: “Jigsaw is grateful for all the hard work of all our colleagues. We will continue to invest in our people and product to further develop and enhance the quality of our customer proposition.”

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