Debenhams IT chief joins Energis

Martin Wyke, former IS director at retail chain Debenhams, has been appointed IT director at telecoms provider Energis.

Martin Wyke, former IS director at retail chain Debenhams, has been appointed IT director at telecoms provider Energis.

Wyke, who has also worked at the Burton Group and Marks & Spencer, spent six years at Debenhams, overseeing a large-scale refresh of IT operations, including the implementation of new point of sale, warehousing and merchandising systems.

He left the company five weeks ago, shortly after it was bought out by private equity consortium Baroness Retail.

At Energis, Wyke will be responsible for the company's IT capabilities and strategy as it looks to continue its recovery from its financial struggles of 2002 and early 2003, which saw banks take over the firm and the loss of 400 UK jobs.

"I joined for a number of reasons, firstly because there are some great people at Energis, like Archie Norman [the former Asda chief executive who runs Energis]," he said.

Wyke said his first priority at Energis would be to go "back to basics" ensuring that the "IT engine room is delivering what the sales team is chasing".

"The company wanted someone at the helm who could bring different functions together," he said. "IT and the business have become a bit fragmented here."

Wyke said his experience in the retail sector would allow Energis to improve its negotiations with customers, which include Dixons, Tesco and a number of central and local government organisations.

"I have sat on the other side of the fence, so I know what businesses are looking for from their technology partners," he said. "We will not be chasing everything, the idea is to retain and grow our big customers."

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