Who is Philip Green?
Philip Nigel Ross Green is a British businessman who is best known as the chairman of Arcadia Group, a retail multinational company headquartered in London. This group owns high-end brands, such as Evans, Dorothy Perkins, Topshop/Topman, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Burton and Outfit. His contribution to the retail industry has earned him knighthood from the Queen of the United Kingdom. A pioneer in the retail industry, he was one among the richest men in Britain in 2013 with a net worth of USD 6.6 million. However, in the next few years the revenue earned by his businesses slumped. Despite the business debacles, he still remains one of the most important retail businessmen in the United Kingdom. During his career, he has been involved in several controversies. He was held responsible for the closure of the BHS group and has been accused of tax evasion, sexual harassment, and ignoring workers’ rights.
Childhood & Early Life
Philip Green was born on 15th March 1952, at Surrey, England, to a successful property developer and retailer, Simon Green, and his wife, Alma Green. He has an elder sister named Elizabeth.
During his childhood, he along with family shifted to Hampstead Garden Suburb of north London. When he turned nine years, he was sent to the Jewish boarding school Carmel College in Oxfordshire.
When he was twelve, his father died and he inherited the family business. Three years later, he left the boarding school.
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Upon leaving school at 15 years of age, Philip Green went to work for a shoe manufacturer. Later, he took at loan of £ 20,000 and launched his first ever business of importing clothes from the far east to sell to top retailers in London. The business went on to be successful.
In 1988, he became associated with the company Amber Day as the chairman and chief executive. Though successful initially, he quit the company four years later following repeated profit downgrades.
In 2002, he purchased the Arcadia Group along with his wife. This group owns high-end brands such as Evans, Dorothy Perkins, Topshop/Topman, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Burton and Outfit. Within 24 hours of the acquisition, he sold the group to his wife and took position as the chief executive.
In the following years, he worked towards expanding product offerings, introducing flagship ideas, and building a global name for the Arcadia Group. In 2008, he opened an academy for fashion retail that allows students to learn various aspects of fashion retailing like design, managing the merchandise, acquiring finance, etc.
In 2009, the BHS department store chain that was also owned by Philip Green was integrated with Arcadia. This allowed the expansion of Arcadia outlets. However, the following years witnessed BHS suffer severe losses, and in 2015, BHS was sold to Retail Acquisitions Ltd.
According to reports, in 2019, Philip Green has been exploring ways to revive BHS and restructure the company. He also proposed a plan that involved closing down stores and reducing store rents.
He filed for bankruptcy of the Arcadia Group in May 2019 along with the announcement of closing down of multiple stores in the Unites States of America. The following month, a majority of the shareholders voted in favor of approving plans that would save the company from being liquidated.
In 2016, the House of Commons approved a motion to request the Honours Forfeiture Committee to strip Philip Green of his knighthood for his role in the failure of the BHS group. However, this was not legally required and therefore, his knighthood was retained.
In 2018, an anonymous report in “The Telegraph” mentioned a businessman who was guilty of sexual harassment and racial abuse of his staff. It was later revealed that Philip Green was the subject of all these allegations. Many influential personalities, including Labour MPs Frank Field and Jess Phillips, called for a revocation of Green's knighthood in the light of these allegations.
Philip Green is best known for the acquisition of the retail company, Arcadia Group, that owns several top fashion brands. The brand has more than 2,500 outlets in UK and hundreds of franchises across other countries.
Awards & Achievements
In 2006, as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours, Philip Green was made a Knight Bachelor for his ‘services to the retail industry’.
Family & Personal Life
Philip Green married Christina (Tina) in August 1990. The couple have two children, daughter Chloe Green and son Brandon Green. Tina Green has two children from her previous marriage to musician Robert Palos, author Stasha Palos and businessman Brett Palos.
Chloe Green, a socialite, has a son with American fashion model Jeremy Ray Meeks. She is currently dating Monte Carlo’s polo captain Rommy Gianni. Brandon Green works in various roles within Arcadia Group.