Debenhams announces that Abigail Comber is joining the Group on 7 January 2020 as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Abigail has spent the majority of her career at British Airways (BA); her most recent roles being Head of Customer Experience and Global Head of Brands and Marketing. In a 24 year career at BA, her portfolio included Brand Strategy, Marketing, Customer Experience Design, Partnerships, Sponsorship, and Community Relations, and notable highlights included leading BA's critically-acclaimed sponsorship of the UK teams at the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. Since leaving BA in May 2018, Abigail has worked with businesses developing turnaround plans led by Marketing and Customer Experience. Abigail will take over the marketing function currently being managed on an interim basis by Erin Brookes.
Stefaan Vansteenkiste, Debenhams' CEO, said:
'We are delighted that Abigail is joining Debenhams. Her track record speaks for itself and her experience and understanding of customer engagement and developing digital service initiatives will be particularly important as we continue to work on transforming Debenhams into a business that can compete effectively in the rapidly-changing retail environment. I look forward to her joining our senior team and playing a key part in delivering the turnaround of the group.'
Abigail Comber, incoming CMO of Debenhams, commented:
'With 19 million customers in the UK in stores and online, the opportunity to play an important part in developing Debenhams' customer proposition for the next decade is really exciting. I am delighted to be joining Stefaan and the team to help build a successful future for one of the UK's best-known retail businesses.'
Tim Danaher/Craig Breheny, Brunswick Group 020 7404 5959
Notes to editors
Debenhams is a leading international, department store destination with a proud British heritage which trades out of over 200 stores and is available online in more than 90 countries at www.debenhams.com . It is one of the top five fashion retailers in the UK and has a leading market position in premium beauty both in-store and online. Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions.
Abigail Comber is a Fellow of the Marketing Society. She enjoyed a 24 year career at BA. She held a variety of senior marketing department roles, including latterly as Global Head of Brands and Marketing, with a portfolio that included Brand Strategy, Marketing, Customer Experience Design, Partnerships, Sponsorship, and Community Relations.
Abigail built BA's brand strength to a 17-year high, with four consecutive years as a UK Consumer 'Superbrand'. She was the driving force behind the 'Don't Fly, Support Team GB' campaign, commissioned by BA for their sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. This campaign was awarded 'Best Engagement Strategy' at the 2013 Festival of Media Awards and has since been nominated as one of the best sponsorships of the last 25 years. She also pioneered customer programmes including 'Marks and Spencer Buy on Board' and 'New Club World', as well as delivering dynamic new digital service initiatives for the BA app.