A study of the leadership teams of leading retail groups has found that executive boards will need to learn new skills in the next five years or risk being past their sell-by date.
The report, which was released at the World Retail Congress taking place in Rome this week, suggests that there is a poor self-perception of top talent within the retail industry.
‘Today’s boards mainly consist of individuals who have grown up in one discipline. However, a more holistic leader is required to keep up with the rapidly changing retail environment,’ the report finds.
‘These future challenges will need to be addressed by individuals who can draw from experience across multiple functions, such as digital, store, supply chain and product, therefore providing better insight into customer behaviour.’
The report was carried out by the World Retail Congress and Green Park, and incorporated interviews with almost 50 chairmen, CEOs and HR directors, such as Ian Grabiner, chief executive of Arcadia Group, Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of John Lewis Partnership, Andrew Higginson, chairman of Morrisons, and Phil Wrigley, chairman of Hobbs and Majestic Wine.
It found that the ideal retail CEO of the future will be ‘technologically savvy, with the ability to focus on relevant data to help with strategic decisions’.
The World Retail Congress, taking place in Rome until 10 September, is the industry’s leading platform for senior retail executives to share new thinking and innovations, challenge assumptions and debate future challenges and opportunities.
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