LONDON – Music retailer HMV announced today that Simon Fox has been appointed as its new chief executive. Fox will succeed Alan Giles, who steps down on September 28.
Simon Fox quit as the chief operating officer of Kesa Electricals last week. HMV said in a statement that Fox was “chief operating officer, with responsibility for Comet in the UK, Kesa’s subsidiaries in Continental Europe and e-commerce developments.” The appointment comes even as HMV struggles to gain a foothold in the market being dominated by the supermarkets and the Internet. On July 6, it reported a 21 percent drop in annual profits.
Like-for-like sales for the nine weeks to July 1 fell 10 percent. HMV also owns Waterstone’s book stores and is hoping to recoup its losses through a strong online presence as well as considerable price cuts. “The board of HMV is delighted to announce someone of Simon’s caliber as chief executive. He has a strong strategic mind combined with a first rate track record in all aspects of retailing,” said HMV’s non-Executive chairman Carl Symon. “The board is highly confident that [Mr Fox] will successfully lead the transformation of HMV into a truly world-class multi-channel retailer.”
Mr Fox said he was a “huge admirer”” of the HMV and Waterstone’s brands. “We all know that these are highly competitive markets, but I firmly believe that the stellar attributes which are in the DNA of the brands and operating culture will enable the group’s businesses to successfully differentiate themselves and to compete effectively,” he added.