Eden McCallum advisor Orna Ni-Chionna joins board of Burberry

19 January 2018 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read
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British luxury fashion house Burberry has confirmed the appointment of Orna Ni-Chionna as non-executive director, with immediate effect. The former McKinsey Partner will serve as a member of the board’s renumeration and nomination committees, alongside her continuing duties at consulting firm Eden McCallum.

After gaining an MBA at Harvard Business School, Orna Ni-Chionna spent almost two decades with management consultancy giants McKinsey, arriving in 1983, before ascending to the position of co-leader for the firm’s European Retail Practice. Ni-Chionna departed in 2001, but later joined Eden McCallum, a consulting firm which was itself formed by ex-McKinsey consultants, consultants Liann Eden and Dena McCallum in 2000. Ni-Chionna still serves as Chair of the firm’s Client Service wing.

Burberry’s new Non-Executive Director will fulfil her role the board's remuneration and nomination committees alongside a host of other standing commitments. She currently is a Senior Independent Non-Executive Director at Saga and Royal Mail, as well as the Chair of Trustees for the Soil Association, and has also sat as Deputy Chair of UK charity, the National Trust, since 2014. On top of this, Ni-Chionna gained further experience in retail having formerly held directorships at media outlet HMV, Northern Foods and the Bank of Ireland UK.

Burberry appoints ex-McKinsey Partner Orna Ni-Chionna as Non-Executive Director

Commenting on the appointment, Burberry Chairman John Peace said, "In addition to the experience she brings on remuneration matters, her strong UK plc and business experience will be a great asset to Burberry as we continue to focus on delivering long-term shareholder value.”

Shares in Burberry rose 1.0%, at 1,801.10 pence, following the news of Ni-Chionna’s appointment. The fashion retailer had reported a slump in sales as a luxury tourism shopping spree in the UK reached its peak at the end of 2017. The British brand, best known for its iconic trench-coats, said sales at established UK stores were down by about 8% in the three months leading to 31 December, largely because of the tailing off of a boom in high-spending Chinese consumers visiting the UK.

While general fashion stores saw their lowest number of net closures in three years over the course of 2017, the sector is bracing itself for the implications of Brexit. Should the UK’s withdrawal from the EU further impact visitor numbers, sales figures across the industry could be impacted further – making for a tense beginning to 2018.