Helena Feltham, senior independent director, will take on the role of interim chairman immediately.

In a statement released by CEO Rachel Osborne and filed with the London Stock Exchange, the news of John Barton’s unexpected death was met with profound sadness. Osborne expressed, «John was a source of great wisdom for me and for so many of us at Ted Baker, and we will hugely miss his support and guidance. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his wife, Anne, and their family.»

At the age of 77, John Barton assumed the position of non-executive chairman at Ted Baker just last year. Prior to this role, he had an illustrious career, including chairing the board of the high street fashion giant Next and, more recently, serving as chairman of the budget airline easyJet.

Barton’s legacy extends to his 15-year tenure on the Next board, starting as a non-executive director in 2002 and eventually becoming chairman in 2006. He retired from Next in 2017.

Simon Wolfson, the CEO of Next, paid tribute to Barton, saying, «John was a wonderful, wise, and deeply perceptive man whose calm good sense was rarely too far ahead of his wry sense of humour. He held the respect and deep affection of those around him. I will miss him, as will his many friends at Next.

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