Dawson & Sanderson boss Annelene Hutton leaves after 17 months in role

Dawson & Sanderson managing director Annelene Hutton has left the company after 17 months in the role.

Hutton initially joined the agency as finance director in March 2022, before becoming managing director in September of the same year, initially in a joint capacity, following the departure of Chris Harrison.

The company confirmed she left the business on Friday (February 16), adding that a decision had been taken that its leadership “needed to be tweaked” and Hutton was “not the right fit for the business for the future”.

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Business development director David Chambers said Hutton and her finance background had been the “perfect fit” for the business when she was appointed after the Covid pandemic, adding the company was “very grateful for all she did for us at the time”.

However, he said the Dawson family, which makes up much of the agency’s board, felt the need for “a change in strategy”.

Corporate and commercial director Judith Alderson added: “We wish Annelene every success for the future [but] we need a different approach.

“For the long-term future and goals of the business, we’ve decided we need to go in a different direction and Annelene wasn’t the right fit for the business for the future.”

Confirming the change in management would not result in any major strategy change for the full-service retailer, which has 20 shops and just under 250 staff, Chambers said: “There were no inconsistencies or issues in performance but we’re a long-term established company and the board of directors feel the opportunities for us lie in a different direction.”

Alderson and Chambers said further plans would be “announced in time” and a structural review would decide whether a replacement managing director would be appointed.

Chambers added: “We have great heads of department which we are going to keep in place.”

In an initial message to suppliers, the company said Hutton was on garden leave, but Chambers confirmed that was “an error” and not the case. Hutton was unavailable for comment.

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