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Shop Direct appoints Henry Birch as new CEO

Shop Direct, which operates digital department stores Very.co.uk, Littlewoods.com and VeryExclusive.co.uk, has appointed Henry Birch as its CEO.

Birch will join Shop Direct later this year as he is currently chief executive officer of the FTSE 250-listed Rank Group, which owns and operates Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo alongside several European gaming and casino businesses.

He has held his position at the Rank Group since 2014, leading the business through a wide-reaching strategic overhaul to create the UK’s largest multichannel gaming operator.

Prior to joining Rank, Birch spent four years as CEO of William Hill Online, where he launched the company’s mobile business, driving 170% growth in revenue and more than doubling operating profit.

At Shop Direct, Birch will take the reins from interim CEO and group finance director, Derek Harding.

Birch commenting on his appointment said: “I’m thrilled to be joining as unique and ambitious a business as Shop Direct. The company has been through an extraordinarily rapid and successful transformation over the last five years and flatly refuses to slow down.

“I’m looking forward to driving continued growth as Shop Direct continues to outpace its competition, and am excited to join the team to carve out the next chapter.”

Aidan Barclay, chairman of Shop Direct, added: “Henry is an experienced CEO and an exceptional leader. From both Rank Group and William Hill Online, he brings a track record of reshaping businesses to become more customer-focused, data-driven and technology-enabled while simultaneously driving outstanding financial performance.

“We’re delighted to attract somebody of Henry’s calibre and very much look forward to working with him as we continue the digital transformation of Shop Direct.”

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