HR & Management

Asos parts company with founder Nick Robertson after 15 years

2 min read

02 September 2015

Former editor

On the back of its share price falling by over 25 per cent inside six months, online clothing and apparel retailer Asos has revealed founder Nick Robertson is standing down from his role as CEO – handing the reins over to the company’s CFO.

Having started the business in 2000 as a way for customers to buy articles of clothing seen worn by celebrities, the business grew to a stage where it floated on the Alternative Investment Market a year later.

It then became the largest company on the AIM exchange, with its most recent financial figures in October 2014 showing revenues of nearly £1bn and profit before tax of £46.9m.

However, despite launching its services in a number of other countries such as Russia and China, incidents such as a fire at its Barnsley warehouse in 2014 have impacted its ability to grow further.

A ten per cent fall in first half profits was reported in March 2015, put down to a “strong pound”, investment programme and price cuts, while the rise of other online retail channels have also impacted its ability to grow revenues and profits.

In resigning from his role as CEO, Robertson will be taking up a non-executive director position to part continue his involvement with Asos. CFO Nick Beighton, who joined the business in 2009, will now become CEO – “widening his management responsibilities beyond finance”. Helen Ashton, who was unveiled as the new CFO in April, now takes up her role as Beighton moves up.

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Brian McBride, chairman of Asos, commented: “On behalf of everyone who works at Asos, I’d like to acknowledge Nick Robertson’s extraordinary achievement. His passion and vision have built a startup into a world class company. We are all delighted that Nick will continue to contribute to the company that he started.

“We are fortunate to have such an able successor for the CEO role in Nick Beighton. Nick has unique experience of the company built over six years, equipping him to drive Asos along its growth trajectory to become the world’s leading online fashion retailer for 20-somethings.”