Shop Direct Boss to Leave After Digital Turnaround

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After seven years at the helm, the Shop Direct boss, Alex Baldock, has ­announced that he is leaving the online ­retailer next summer.

Earlier this week, the company reported record sales of £1.9bn on the back of a surge in shoppers of mobile phones, who currently account for 53pc of the business.

Mr Baldock, who has driven the turnaround of Shop Direct from a catalogue retailer to a digital business, has recently concentrated on boosting the company’s use of artificial intelligence to respond more promptly to customer buying patterns.

Shop Direct, which is owned by Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay, the owners of the Telegraph Media Group, ceased printing its Littlewoods catalogue in 2015 in favour of an online-only model.

“It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to lead this exceptional team through such a rapid and far-reaching transformation”, stated Mr Baldock.

“It’s now time for me to move on to the next challenge, but I will do so with fond memories and full confidence that the business will continue to thrive under new leadership.”

In July, shareholders of Shop Direct announced that they would not be pursuing sale negotiations over the business as the appetite of possible bidders had changed amid election uncertainty.

The chairman of Shop Direct, Aidan Barclay, said that Mr Baldock had “brought strategic clarity, relentless execution, and inspired his people to get behind him at every step.”