Filby to leave non-executive role as Shoe Zone overhauls board

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DFS chief executive Ian Filby is stepping down from his role as non-executive chairman at budget shoe chain Shoe Zone to enable Anthony Smith, the company’s CEO, to move to the role of executive chairman.

Mr Filby joined the board at the time of the IPO in 2014 and Shoe Zone said he has provided significant retail experience to the company during his tenure.

Shoe Zone said that Anthony Smith will become the company’s executive chairman.

Mr Smith has led Shoe Zone for 20 years through a series of acquisitions and the company’s IPO in 2014. The firm said that Mr Smith will continue to have a hands-on role and will have particular responsibility for the property portfolio and strategy.

Nick Davis, the company’s CFO, will become CEO. Mr Davis has been with the business for 13 years and Shoe Zone said he is the natural successor to drive the company’s growth plans. Mr Davis will continue to manage the finance function until a suitable replacement is appointed.

Jeremy Sharman will become non-executive deputy chairman. Mr Sharman has been a non-executive director of the company since the IPO and Shoe Zone said he has provided valuable insight and advice to the board during this time.

He will chair the audit committee and sit on the remuneration committee. These role changes will come into effect immediately although there will be a controlled handover until a new finance director has been appointed.

Alongside these changes, Shoe Zone said it will also be appointing a new non-executive director to join the board. Lee Hennell, the company’s general counsel, will assume the role of company secretary with immediate effect.

Mr Smith said: “I would like to thank Ian for his guidance and support since he joined the board for the IPO in 2014. His retail experience has been invaluable to the company as we adjusted to life as a listed company and we wish him all the very best in the future.

“I am also pleased that Nick has agreed to become CEO. Nick has been with the business for 13 years and has been instrumental in assisting Charles and me to drive both organic and acquisitive growth.”