LONDON, United Kingdom — Christos Angelides has agreed to become chief executive officer of UK fashion chain Reiss Ltd., spurning an offer to run Marks & Spencer Group Plc’s struggling clothing division.
Angelides, 53, will succeed the retailer’s 73-year-old founder David Reiss. The move is part of a “planned succession,” Reiss said Monday.
The news is a blow to M&S, which identified Angelides as its preferred candidate and had recently made an offer to the former Next Plc star, according to a person familiar with the matter. When Steve Rowe was promoted to M&S CEO in April he made it clear that arresting a five-year sales slump at the London-based retailer’s clothing division was his top priority.
Angelides built his reputation as Next’s product director for 16 years before leaving in 2014 to become president of the Abercrombie & Fitch brand, where he didn’t have the same success. He was fired in December 2015 amid weak sales at the US retailer.
David Reiss founded Reiss in 1971. After starting out in London, the chain has expanded across the UK and internationally, with 189 stores in 17 countries.
Under UK listing rules Angelides will likely have to step down as a non-executive director of fashion retailer French Connection Group Plc, where he started in March.
By Sam Chambers; editors: Matthew Boyle, Paul Jarvis, John Bowker.