The CEO of The English Court during the last five years, Victor of the Well, leaves the company “at his own request and for personal reasons”, as reported by the distribution group in a statement, in which it announces a profound restructuring of its organization chart. Del Pozo had renewed his contract until 2027 last January.

The board of directors today gave the go-ahead to the new corporate structure, in which a new delegated executive committee stands out, which will be the highest management body of El Corte Inglés. It will have five members: Marta Álvarez, president of the group; José Ramón de Hoces, director general secretary and secretary of the board; Javier Rodríguez-Arias Ambrosini, corporate financial director who joins the company’s board of directors; and two new CEOs.

The first is Jose Maria Folache Gonzalez-Parrado, which will handle the retail business; and the second is Santiago Bau Arrecheawhich will assume the rest of the corporate businesses and the new ones that are going to be created.

José María Folache, new general director of El Corte Inglés for the retail business; and Santiago Bau Arrechea, new CEO for the rest of the corporate businesses

Folache returns to El Corte Inglés after leaving the group in 2012. Until then, and since 2012, still under the presidency of Isidoro Álvarez, he was responsible for purchases. He has also been Vice President and CEO of Carrefour, CEO of Tous, Parfois and Suárz Jewelry. Santiago Bau Arrechea comes from Goldman Sachs, where he has been for more than 15 years.

El Corte Inglés recovers a structure with a double general direction, as Víctor del Pozo himself and Jesús Nuño de la Rosa starred in their day, although then as CEOs and without the structure of an executive committee. “The new structure aims to strengthen the management of the company and promote the board’s strategic plan within the framework of best corporate governance practices,” says El Corte Inglés in a press release. Said strategic plan had been designed by Víctor del Pozo himself.

“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,” adds the group.

business management

Víctor del Pozo assumed the position of CEO of El Corte Inglés in October 2017, a position shared with Jesús Nuño de la Rosa, when the then president, Dimas Gimeno, was stripped of his executive functions.

He did not have full control of the management of the group until Nuño de la Rosa left it, at the beginning of 2020, just before the outbreak of the pandemic, already with Marta Álvarez as president, although without executive functions. Del Pozo then had to manage the impact that the Covid-19 crisis had on the business, which caused the first losses in the history of El Corte Inglés, of almost 3,000 million euros due to the drop in income and the damage suffered.

The recovery of pre-pandemic income levels 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”, to reduce dependency on traditional business. This is where the creation of Sicor is framed, the alliance with MásMóvil in the domestic alarm sector or in the telecommunications sector, with the launch of the operator Sweno; the creation of El Corte Inglés Advanced Logistics, to provide logistics services to third parties; or the project for El Corte Inglés to market energy, among others.

In recent days, the distribution group has closed a new refinancing for up to 2,600 million with an extension of terms until 2027, and with a significant drop in interest. The group’s bank syndicate has given El Corte Inglés the conditions of a company with an investment grade rating despite not having it. One of the great ambitions of the group in recent years, which is one step away from achieving it.

Mutual entrance

Del Pozo’s departure comes just two months after El Corte Inglés announced the renewal of his contract until 2027, at the same shareholders’ meeting that ratified Mutua Madrileña’s entry into his capital, after acquiring 8% of it, as well as the appointment of Ignacio Garralda, president of the insurance company, as director.

Then, the extension of the contract was understood as a bet for Del Pozo to design the path of El Corte Inglés towards the stock market listing, an issue established in the agreement between El Corte Inglés and Mutua and that should be executed, at the latest, in 2027, although it is not mandatory.

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