Ajay Kavan Steps Down as Matchesfashion CEO After One Year

LONDON — Ajay Kavan, who joined Matchesfashion last March, will step down as chief executive officer, effective immediately, the company said Monday. 

Maureen Chiquet, a non-executive director on the Matches board since 2018, will act as executive chairwoman during the transition period “to support the teams in overseeing business activities” until a new CEO is named.

Tom Hall, chairman of the company’s board, said: “I would like to thank Ajay for his significant contributions to Matchesfashion over a challenging year, book-ended by the start of COVID-19 lockdown and Brexit. Ajay has reinforced the foundations of the business, significantly strengthened the team and embedded a customer-driven culture. I wish Ajay every success for his future endeavors.” 

Kavan said he was proud of the team “we have built at Matchesfashion. I believe in the potential of the business and the team is focused behind a clear set of goals that will further accelerate growth in the years ahead.  I look forward to seeing the business go from strength to strength.”

Chiquet was previously global CEO of Chanel, having left the company in 2016. She began her career at L’Oréal in France, before joining The Gap and then moving to Chanel in 2003.

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The company did not give a reason why Kavan was leaving so soon after taking up the job as CEO.

As reported, Kavan succeeded Ulric Jerome, who exited the retailer in 2019, two years after the business was acquired by Apax Partners for nearly $1 billion following a bidding frenzy by a number of private equity investors, including Permira and KKR.

Kavan had been a vice president at Amazon for nine years and was vice president, international special projects before taking up the role at Matches last March.

During his short tenure at Matchesfashion, he was responsible for hiring Elizabeth von der Goltz as chief commercial officer, a new role. Von der Goltz was global buying director at Net-a-porter, leading buying strategy across all product categories and responsible for driving sales and developing product collections.

Last September, Kavan brought on board Sean Glithero as chief financial officer and Jason Weston as chief operating officer.

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