Truworths seeks successor to man who built it up

Johannesburg – Truworths is embarking on a succession process in preparation for chief executive Michael Mark’s retirement after almost 30 years at the helm.

The clothing company said it would look for a suitable candidate to take over from Mark, who successfully led the business to world-class levels of performance after being an employee since 1988 and serving as chief executive since 1991.

“The company will now be entering a phase of a planned succession process approved and motivated by the nomination committee and then hand over to a highly accomplished team, after which (Mark) will retire as chief executive,” the group said.

The retailer added that the phased approach would ensure that the business was appropriately structured to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic era successfully and launch its growth phase. It added that it wanted to take advantage of the exciting long-term opportunities.

Mark was expected to retire in 2015, and Truworths had appointed prominent French fashion executive Jean-Christophe Garbino as his successor,

However, Garbino resigned less than a year into his role.

“It’s the most profitable retail business in the country in terms of both gross margins and net margin,” said independent analyst Syd Vianello said.

“It’s a business which has grown nearly entirely by internal growth or internally developed brands, a business which produced the most astonishing cash flows in the industry.”

Vianello added that Mark’s successor would need to sort out Office and develop an online presence.

“Whoever takes over will inherit a unique business, with strong cash flows even post-Covid, and a very clean balance sheet,” said Vianello.


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