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Hunter appoints Paolo Porta as permanent CEO

Lauretta Roberts
16 March 2021

British boot brand Hunter has appointed Paolo Porta as permanent CEO; he has been holding the position on an interim basis since June of last year.

Prior to joining Hunter, where he replaced Vincent Wauters, Porta had been senior vice president of merchandising and licensing at Jimmy Choo.

He has previously held roles across merchandising, retail, wholesale distribution, brand development and licensing at luxury houses including Christian Dior, Stella McCartney and Burberry.

He plans to reposition the heritage boot brand, which also offers outerwear and other apparel, with a focus on product elevation and diversification of its offer into all-season, all-weather categories.

He will also sharpen its brand identity and continue with its focus on its direct-to-consumer channels and building wholesale in the US, China and Asia.

Hunter has lately seen a 94% increase in e-commerce sales in the UK, driven largely by its core rain boot category, from the last quarter of 2020 to date. The brand’s Original Wellington boot also achieved an 89% increase in sales and sold out in many of its key sizes.

Andrew Lawley, chairman of Hunter and Operating Partner of Atypical Partner, which owns a majority stake in Hunter via its secondary investment arm Pall Mall Legacy, said: “Paolo brings considerable experience in global lifestyle brands and has led the business with calm clarity and decisiveness through the uncertainty created by the pandemic. I am absolutely delighted that he has agreed to take on the CEO role permanently to build on a very strong 2020 result".

Porta said of his appointment: “This is just the beginning for what I know will be an incredibly promising and stimulating next chapter in Hunter’s esteemed story”.

To support the new strategy, a number of key appointments have been made at the brand with Sandra Romboli appointed as global design director, having previously held positions at Decathlon, Reebok and Adidas. Meanwhile in November, Claudia Plant, formerly of Burberry and Net-A-Porter, joined as CMO.

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