If you ask those in the retail industry about Truworths CEO Michael Mark, many are quick to give anecdotes about the firm grip he has on the group; about a seemingly unshakeable leader, rooted in his ways. However, others believe that, after having spent almost 27 years at the retailer’s helm, it may be time for him to hang up his hat and call it a day. Mark (64) has managed to transform Truworths from the specialised boutique store it was in the early 1980s into a retail behemoth with an appetite for expansion. But the company’s high exposure to womenswear — a sector in structural decline due to increased competition, oversaturation and fast-paced changes in fashion — has left Mark’s legacy vulnerable and the group trailing its peers. Avior Capital Markets equity analyst Atiyyah Vawda says it’s unclear whether the Truworths board will call for Mark’s resignation. "The higher the pressure on earnings and returns, the sooner this can happen," she says. "Mark is an excellent operator,...

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