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Starbucks man to become CEO at Clinton Cards

Clinton Cards has appointed the Starbucks UK boss, Darcy Willson-Rymer as its new chief executive.

This is the first time that the chief executive of Clintons has come from outside the Lewin family.  At the same time it was announced that Don Lewin, its founder, chairman and chief executive, has now become the non executive chairman, ahead of becoming life president next year.

Darcy Willson-Rymer will join as chief executive officer in October 2011. He is currently managing director at Starbucks UK and Ireland where he has been credited with turning the company’s fortunes around through the recession. The coffee chain had posted eight quarters of unbroken like-for-like sales growth, refurbished many of its shops and increased its market share of the coffee market.

By contrast, Clintons house broker Numis has slashed full year pre-tax profit forecasts from £13.2m to just £2.5m after a series of profit warnings this year. It is currently renegotiating its credit facility with its banks, RBS and Barclays, as it copes with an £80m annual rent bill.

Commenting on the appointment, Don Lewin said: “I welcome Darcy to the Board of Clinton Cards. His strong retail, brand, management and customer relationship experience and skills will be of great benefit as we develop the group through the changing retail environment.”

Clinton Cards will also appoint two non executive directors, to replace John Coleman and Robert Gunlack, who are retiring from the board.

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