Following its administration filing, the CEO of the Oasis and Warehouse Group has stepped down from the business. The company hasn’t confirmed the news but Hash Ladha’s LinkedIn profile now has him listed as having left the company this month.
The executive had been CEO since October 2018, and before that he was COO at the business for nearly four years, having originally joined in 2010.
During his time in the top job, the company reported a record year in 2019 with EBITDA rising 20% (its sixth consecutive year of growth) and sales up 6%, while digital accounted for 30% of the mix.
But while Ladha’s time at the helm seemed to be yielding fruit, the company remained vulnerable to any setbacks and the sudden onset of the coronavirus crisis in the UK was the downturn of all downturns.
Like retail peers Laura Ashley and Cath Kidston, the pandemic meant the green shoots of recovery were wiped out for the brands with no chance of a comeback.
We’ve heard no news yet on whether a buyer can be found for the group, which had previously been up for sale several years ago, at which time the owners rejected a £60 million offer as too low.
The two brands have a broad international reach with their own stores in the UK and Europe, plus franchise deals in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America.