Arcadia brings in new team for digital and data assault

topshop2Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, which owns Topshop, Monsoon, Dorothy Perkins, and Miss Selfridge, has become the latest high street giant to bolster its digital and data strategy, boosting its senior team as part of the retailer’s turnaround strategy.

Former Tesco chief Rafaele Petruzzo joins as group chief digital officer from digital payments provider Nets Group, where he worked as chief transformation officer on a fixed term contract.

Prior to that, Petruzzo was chief digital and technology officer at Homeserve, and group payments strategy director at Tesco, working on the development of its Pay+ app. He also spent four years at Barclays, latterly as chief digital officer, responsible for setting the strategy and delivery of digital initiatives across Europe.

Petruzzo, who has also held senior roles at Accenture and KPMG, will work alongside chief information officer Karl De Bruijn, who has joined the group from Primark. Both will report into group chief executive Ian Grabiner.

De Bruijn has more than 20 years’ experience in digital transformations, most recently at Primark where he was IT transformation director. Before that, he was global IT director of Cath Kidston and group IT director at Specsavers.

Finally, Simon Pakenham-Walsh has been appointed director of digital and retail technology. He also has over 20 years’ experience and joins from Sainsbury’s, where he was technology director in the supermarket’s digital and technology division and most recently the chief information officer for food.

Pakenham-Walsh was previously head of technology at Sky and ebusiness programme manager at Royal Mail. He will report to De Bruijn.

The appointments come as Arcadia pushes on with its transformation strategy, which features a CVA process that will see the closure of 48 stores in the UK and Ireland, plus 11 Topshop stores in the US.

The group has worked with both Total Media and TMW Unlimited, although the status of these relationships is not known.

Grabiner said: “Through a combination of improved customer insight and data, alongside enhanced site functionality and more efficient marketing spend, we are confident that Arcadia can create an even stronger bond between our brands and our customers, delivering uniquely personal shopping experiences.

“I’m delighted to welcome Rafa, Karl and Simon to the group as we continue to drive forward our digital ambitions and boost our sales from online channels; a core pillar of our growth strategy. They are all extremely experienced in their fields and I am confident they will add significant value to the group.”

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