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Debenhams Finance Boss Quits Days After Profit Warning

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http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/02/debenhams-finance-boss-quits-christmas-profit-warning

Debenhams finance boss Simon Herrick has resigned just days after the department store chain's shock profit warning following disappointing Christmas trading.

Herrick has stepped down from his post as chief financial officer with immediate effect, but will not leave the company formally until 7 February.

There was no reason given for his departure, but the move comes after Debenhams warned on Tuesday that profits were expected to fall by as much as 26% due to its failure to entice a rush of shoppers in the days leading up to Christmas, sparking a 12% shares slide.

..

Herrick will continue to be paid salary and benefits worth nearly £490,000 over a 12-month notice period, with up to £12,000 on top to cover legal fees.

Well to attract the top talent you have to have the right perks.... We can't have a severance package like the average drone worker. I wonder how longer it will take him to find another job? Would he still be entitled to the pay?

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Well to attract the top talent you have to have the right perks.... We can't have a severance package like the average drone worker. I wonder how longer it will take him to find another job? Would he still be entitled to the pay?

......you don't mean being rewarded for failure? ;)

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http://www.theguardi...-profit-warning

Well to attract the top talent you have to have the right perks.... We can't have a severance package like the average drone worker. I wonder how longer it will take him to find another job? Would he still be entitled to the pay?

He would have a really long wait if the people that decide to employ his sort actually had some skin in the game.

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I'm on a 6 month notice period. Such T&C 's are usually in place to make your 'talent' an unappealing prospect to other potential employers. The risk is when a duff hire makes it past their probation, and they become expensive to exit. In his case a disinterested CFO could do significant harm well in excess of £500K. If he were leaving for a role with another retailer, he would have spent his notice on gardening leave anyway. At least now Debenhams can openly look for the right g by person to help them out of the hole they're in right now.

I'm not justifying the arrangement, I'm merely explaining the logic behind it.

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The strategy has gone wrong this year - how is that the FD's fault?

When I was walking round Debenhams on 20th Dec shaking my head - I wasn't thinking someone needs to fire the FD for this shambles.

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The strategy has gone wrong this year - how is that the FD's fault?

When I was walking round Debenhams on 20th Dec shaking my head - I wasn't thinking someone needs to fire the FD for this shambles.

I expect he would be quick to accept the accolades on offer if the news was good

As one of the top team, he holds equal responsibility to the rest of the board (aside from the CEO, who is a bit more responsible) and, if he feels that he can do no more to help, he is right to go.

Or maybe he has quit because he disagrees with the plan going forward?

No problem with him having negotiated a good exit package in his contract

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The strategy has gone wrong this year - how is that the FD's fault?

When I was walking round Debenhams on 20th Dec shaking my head - I wasn't thinking someone needs to fire the FD for this shambles.

I read it was more to do with giving ok looking guidance to shareholders then pretty quickly afterwards giving profit warnings.

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The strategy has gone wrong this year - how is that the FD's fault?

When I was walking round Debenhams on 20th Dec shaking my head - I wasn't thinking someone needs to fire the FD for this shambles.

I cannot see how the blame for the duff strategy rests with the FD.

Seems like the board are shooting the messenger. They are also waving the FDs scalp at the shareholders in an effort to calm them down.

Edited by bubbleturbo

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I'm on a 6 month notice period. Such T&C 's are usually in place to make your 'talent' an unappealing prospect to other potential employers. The risk is when a duff hire makes it past their probation, and they become expensive to exit. In his case a disinterested CFO could do significant harm well in excess of £500K. If he were leaving for a role with another retailer, he would have spent his notice on gardening leave anyway. At least now Debenhams can openly look for the right g by person to help them out of the hole they're in right now.

I'm not justifying the arrangement, I'm merely explaining the logic behind it.

Not sure. It depends.

Most people are on 1 month.

I'm on 2 months.

You just have to plan ahead a bit more.

On a realistic note, long notice normally guarantee a holiday between jobs.

You really don't want someone who you know is going to a competitor hanging around for 6 months. On full pay. Unless you have an unmanned office in Siberia.

In summary, long notices are another badly thought out idea from the HR dept.

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I expect he would be quick to accept the accolades on offer if the news was good

As one of the top team, he holds equal responsibility to the rest of the board (aside from the CEO, who is a bit more responsible) and, if he feels that he can do no more to help, he is right to go.

Or maybe he has quit because he disagrees with the plan going forward?

No problem with him having negotiated a good exit package in his contract

DEBs were holed - financially and operationally - by the PE people 8 odd years ago.

The current retail situation makes what was a hard task now an impossible one.

Anyone with any useful knowledge about DEBs situation and the retail sector AND wants to remain employed in the sector is going to give DEBs a wide berth.

The people they've been getting are going to be morons.

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I'm on a 6 month notice period. Such T&C 's are usually in place to make your 'talent' an unappealing prospect to other potential employers. The risk is when a duff hire makes it past their probation, and they become expensive to exit. In his case a disinterested CFO could do significant harm well in excess of £500K. If he were leaving for a role with another retailer, he would have spent his notice on gardening leave anyway. At least now Debenhams can openly look for the right g by person to help them out of the hole they're in right now.

I'm not justifying the arrangement, I'm merely explaining the logic behind it.

you mean these people aren't supermen and can be as petty as average joe ?

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you mean these people aren't supermen and can be as petty as average joe ?

It's got nothing to do with being petty. However a disinterested FD can't be put in front of investors or bankers. This is a key part of such a role and it would adversely impact cash flow, share price and investor confidence. It would be like having a sales director that couldn't be put in front of customers.......

Most people struggle to work 1-2 months notice without coasting, pulling sickies etc.

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