Founded by Julian Dunkerton and designer James Holder in 2003, Superdry is a UK-based high street fashion brand that combines vintage American styling with Japanese-inspired graphics.
In 2004 the brand was introduced into Dunkerton's existing Cult Clothing chain and the chain was eventually wrapped into Superdry in 2012.
Just seven years after the company was founded, it was floated on the London Stock Exchange and in 2011, it opened its first flagship store in London, which is now an international showcase for the brand. As the business grew Dunkerton relinquished the CEO reins to Euan Sutherland in 2015 to focus on the product. However in early 2018 Dunkerton announced his surprise departure from the business claiming he wanted to focus his charity work and other business projects.
By Autumn 2018, he was agitating for a return to the business and his very public campaign grew louder and more organised as the business began to publish a series of profits warnings, blaming unfavourable weather, consumer uncertainty and problems with product (management want to shift the reliance away from outerwear, cut the number of lines and introduce kidswear).
Dunkerton fundamentally disagreed and accused the management of destroying £1.2bn in shareholder value since January 2018. He requisitioned a shareholder meeting for 2 April 2019 to make his case to shareholders and for them to vote on his return, which he won by slimmest of margins securing 51.15% of the votes. Dunkerton was installed as interim CEO but has made it clear he does not want to hold that role for the long term.
Peter Williams, former chairman of Boohoo and ASOS, was also appointed to the board at Dunkerton's behest (and also securing 50.15% of the votes) and replaced Peter Bamford as chairman. Upon the arrival of Dunkerton and Williams the entire board of the company resigned.