John Browett has told staff at DSGi that it will take until 2013 to turn the business around and return to pre-recession levels of trading in an internal briefing leaked to the Sunday Telegraph.
The briefing, which followed the group's interim results last month, said that while times were tough currently, once the business recovered, it would be "great".
The document also revealed that the retailer has called in the services of The George Group – part of Accenture – to "fundamentally change" the way the retailer's commercial division and supply chain work.
Browett also admitted that many analysts don't believe the firm can survive the turnaround. "Some of them believe that we won't survive…some like the plan that we have in place, but think that we'll run out of time to deliver it."