Jewelry designer Theo Fennell
has announced that he is returning to the company that bears his name in order to help bring the company back to its former glory. Fennell founded the company back in 1982 but was forced out in 2009 over a battle with the company board over the direction of the company. Now things have shifted dramatically: Fennell is back but Richard Northcott, the chairman of the board who co-founded the company, has resigned as has Viscount Cowdray, a non-executive director, although both will remain shareholders. Joining the company are former Hamley's part-owner Rupert Hambro as a non-executive chairman and Alasdair Hadden-Paton as deputy chairman. Along with Fennell they will own 29.9 percent of the company with Fennell owning more than 19 percent.
The Independent states that
since Fennell left sales have fallen at the company. It's impossible to know if that's due to his departure or just part of the jewelry industry downturn but it will likely help to have Fennell back at the helm. Part of the original disputes over company direction were regarding just how commercial the brand should get. With the talented Mr. Fennell in control the focus will likely shift back toward the dramatic, distinctive and expensive pieces that he built his reputation on. In the Independent article Fennell sounds eager to get to work, he says: "My head is exploding with ideas, but it normally is." New collections should be in shops by the end of July.