Vansteenkiste joined Debenhams in April 2019 as chief restructuring officer and has been working closely with the executive team on a new business plan to deliver a turnaround.
Debenhma said Vansteenkiste is an “experienced turnaround expert” at professional services firm, Alvarez & Marsal, and is also a “seasoned CEO and retail operator”.
He has previously served as CEO or advisor at a number of large retail and consumer companies including Intertoys, Vion Food Group, Diam International and Bally Shoes.
It added that Duddy will work with Vansteenkiste to ensure an “orderly handover” before stepping down from the board in September.
Duddy said: “The board welcomes Stefaan’s appointment as CEO. We concluded that he is the right person to take the business forward into the next phase of its recovery. Stefaan has already made a strong contribution since joining Debenhams, and has the support of our investor consortium to drive forward our turnaround plan.”
Vansteenkiste added: “The retail industry faces a challenging environment and everyone at Debenhams acknowledges that. But we have a clear plan and Debenhams has a great team of people who are committed to delivering it.
“I am very excited about Debenhams’ strong prospects and with a restructured balance sheet there is a robust platform from which to build a turnaround, based on Debenhams’ clear brand focus, broad customer reach and differentiated product offer.”