Jack Wills appoints ex-Vodafone boss sparking float speculationTuesday, 28 August 2012
British University-inspired brand Jack Wills
has hired a former Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse executive to its board as its chief operating officer, heightening speculation that the fashion brand is preparing to sell a stake or is getting ready to float next year.
Wendy Becker, who was previously group marketing head at Vodafone, is also on the board of online grocer Ocado and is a non-executive director at Whitboard, is set to join Jack Willis and its sister brand Aubin & Wills, next month, and will report directly into chief executive and co-founder of the retailer Peter Williams.
The retailer, which brands itself as ‘university outfitters’, was founded in Salcombe, Devon in 1999 by Williams and Robert Shaw, and they currently own over 70 percent after a private equity group Inflexion took a minority stake in 2007.
Jack Willis is popular among teenagers and students and the retailer has nearly 60 stores in the UK and Ireland, many of which are in university towns. Last year the brand opened its first two stores in Hong Kong as part of its international expansion, which already includes 12 stores in America.