Embattled Argos loses boss

Argos, the retailer still embroiled in a dispute with its new owner GUS, is to lose one of its longest-serving executives.

Former marketing director John Mayhead, who has been at the company since 1985, will leave next March in the latest of a series of executive moves since GUS’ hostile 1.9bn takeover in April.

In the last restructure, acting Argos chief executive Graham Frost made Mayhead chief executive of the business solutions division, which handles Argos’ Premier Points loyalty card scheme, and replaced him with former director of business development Paula Vennels (MW May 14). It is not known who will replace him in his current post.

At the time, the change was seen as a sideways move for Mayhead, a former chairman of the Marketing Society, despite a seat on the new board. The latest developments indicate there were no plans for providing him with a long-term future at the company. However, a spokeswoman for Argos who confirms the move, says: “It has been a challenging year for the company and things have changed. Perhaps he felt it was time to move on.” GUS chairman Lord Wolfson of Sunningdale has added to post-takeover wranglings. Announcing a fall in interim profits of 22 per cent last week, he renewed calls for the Department of Trade & Industry to review a decision by the Takeover Panel that Argos directors did not mislead GUS in sales forecasts.

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