Radical and unexpected turn in the first executive line of The English Court, which undergoes its fifth draft change in less than five years. The distribution company announced this Monday the departure of Victor of the Wellits CEO since 2017, “at his own request and for personal reasons”, according to El Corte Inglés in a statement.
A decision that comes just one month after the end of the 2021 fiscal year, and two of the approval that the shareholders’ meeting gave to the extension of their contractual relationship until 2027, in what was understood as a bet so that it would be Del Pozo, an executive with a long career in the group, who would continue to lead its transformation and a future IPO.
But the stage has turned 180 degrees. His departure comes after the group’s board of directors has designed a new management model in recent weeks, with the creation of a delegated executive committee, which from now on becomes the body that will direct the business of El Corte English.
Its creation was ratified yesterday, but it began to take shape before Víctor del Pozo made the decision to leave the group. The main novelty that it introduces is that it gives executive power to the president of the group, Martha Alvarez, when appointed president of that commission. Since she was appointed in the summer of 2019, replacing Jesús Nuño de la Rosa, she lacked leadership in management.
In addition, the group has signed two new general directors, executives one step below the rank of Víctor del Pozo. From being the main visible head in the management of El Corte Inglés, the until now CEO came to have a president with executive functions above him, and two general directors with well-defined roles below him. One, José María Folache, to direct the retail strategy; and another, Santiago Bau, who assumes the rest of the corporate business.
In practice, a dilution of Del Pozo’s rolewhich, yes, voted in favor of the new structure in its last session as a member of the board of directors, as confirmed by sources close to the company, from which its role in the strategic turn that the company has taken as a result of of the pandemic.
The recovery of pre-Covid income and the reduction of debt have been Del Pozo’s main duties in the last two years, a time in which he has also guided the business of El Corte Inglés to become an “ecosystem of services ”, with the aim of reducing dependence on traditional business.
To his credit is the creation of the security subsidiary Sicor, as well as the alliance in this area with MásMóvil to launch a home alarm business; also with MásMóvil in the telecommunications sector to create the virtual mobile operator Sweno; the creation of El Corte Inglés Advanced Logistics, to create a large logistics group focused on electronic commerce; or the project for El Corte Inglés to market energy. Del Pozo also led the purchase of Sánchez Romero Supermarkets last year to boost the company’s food business, in addition to the strategy of converting some department stores into outlets or centers dedicated to online business.
The departure of Del Pozo, and the absence of another CEO, leaves the executive power of the group in the hands of Marta Álvarez, as president of that executive committee, who together with Jose Maria Folache and Santiago Bau José Ramón de Hoces, general secretary and secretary of the board, and Javier Rodríguez-Arias Ambrosini, corporate financial director complete. This, in addition, enters the board of directors, covering the gap left by Del Pozo as executive director.
“The board of directors considers that, in response to the new scenario that has emerged after two years of great complexity in the macroeconomic environment, it is necessary to open a stage that responds to the challenges of the future with a renewed team and professionals specialized in the different areas that encompasses the group,” the group explained in a press release.
movements. The changes in the first executive line of El Corte Inglés have been constant in the last five years, after decades of stability in command of the distribution group. The changes began in October 2017, when then CEO Dimas Gimeno was stripped of his management duties. These fell to two CEOs: Jesús Nuño de la Rosa and Víctor del Pozo himself. That was the beginning of the internal war in the group, which ended in June 2018 with the departure of Gimeno and the appointment of Nuño de la Rosa as executive president. It only lasted a year, since in June 2019 she took over from Marta Álvarez, although without executive weight. Nuño de la Rosa returned to being CEO together with Víctor del Pozo, but left the group in January 2020. The latter concentrated the executive weight until his departure from the company yesterday, the fifth movement in four and a half years.
not competition. As in these cases, the departure of Víctor del Pozo from El Corte Inglés will entail an agreement so that the executive cannot work in companies in the sector for a time. In the case of Dimas Gimeno, the non-competition agreement was for two years.