Simon Fox, chief executive of HMV, is to leave the compact disc and DVD retailer after six years in the job, one of the most strategically challenging posts in corporate Britain.
HMV on Thursday said that Mr Fox had decided to leave the group and would be replaced by Trevor Moore, chief executive of Jessops, the camera retailer, on September 3.
The collapse of Woolworths and Zavvi left HMV as the last big music and movie specialist on the U.K. high street. However, it too has been severely squeezed by the rise of digital media and increased competition from internet retailers and supermarkets.
Amid declining sales and onerous borrowings, it has had to make significant disposals, selling the Waterstone’s bookshop chain last year and announcing the sale of the Hammersmith Apollo live music venue in London in May.
Two months ago, it said it expected to make a pre-tax loss of about £16-million ($24.9-million U.S.) in its 2011-12 financial year but would make a profit of at least £10-million in 2012-13.
Mr. Fox, whose next career move is not yet known, said HMV had a profitable future, adding that it would be “in safe hands” with Mr. Moore at the helm.
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