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Ted Baker names easyJet executive John Barton as chairman

(Reuters) – Troubled fashion retailer Ted Baker <TED.L> on Wednesday named easyJet <EZJ.L> Chairman John Barton as its non-executive chairman, less than a month after appointing Rachel Osborne to the permanent role of chief executive officer.

Barton previously served as chairman of rival fashion retailer Next Plc <NXT.L> and held the role of senior independent director at WH Smith <SMWH.L> and SSP Group <SSPG.L>.

The appointment comes as the new management seeks to revive the retailer that suffered a string of setbacks last year, including multiple profit warnings on the back of tough retail conditions, inventory overstatement and suspension of dividend payments.

Ted Baker, which started as a specialist in men’s shirts, has also seen multiple management changes since founder and top shareholder Ray Kelvin stepped down as CEO in March last year following misconduct allegations. Kelvin has denied them.

Former Chief Executive Officer Lindsay Page, whose promotion had been seen as a turning point for Ted Baker, left in December after just eight months in the role, along with Chairman David Bernstein.

The company announced job cuts earlier this year to reduce costs and said last month it has shut businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sharon Baylay will continue in her role as acting chair until Barton formally joins the board in July.

(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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