Jun 26, 2020
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Ex-Poundworld chairman is new Matalan chair, retailer also names commercial chief

Jun 26, 2020

Steve Johnson is to take over as chairperson at value retailer Matalan, succeeding current chairman John Mills who is stepping down. And it has a new commercial chief too, with James Brown returning to the firm.


The fashion and homeware retailer said Johnson, who chaired value variety store Poundworld until its demise in 2018, will work alongside John Mills for a successful transition. His appointment takes effect on 1 July. 

Johnson has over 20 years of experience in the retail sector, having held executive roles at big name companies including Woolworths, Asda, Dreams and Focus DIY. He currently sits on the DFS board as an independent non-executive director and is a non-executive director of Big Yellow and a senior independent director at Lenta, one of Russia’s largest retail chains.

“Steve brings strong leadership and a relevant skill-set from his experiences of executive and non-executive positions,” said Jason Hargreaves, chief executive officer of Matalan.

On Thursday, the business announced another key hire. James Brown, formerly commercial director of GM & Clothing at Sainsbury’s, is joining the company as chief commercial officer. Taking over on 18 August, he will focus on the brand’s customer and product proposition and end-to-end trading strategy.

His appointment marks a return to Matalan, having held the role of ladieswear merchandising controller at the company from 2002 to 2006.

Commenting on the new appointment, CEO Jason Hargreaves, said: “James Brown will be an excellent addition to the Matalan team, and he brings with him a wealth of experience to the new role of chief commercial officer. As we continue to evolve and respond to changes in consumer behaviour in these unprecedented times, James brings valuable insight not only from Matalan but from his roles in the wider retail sector.”

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