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Superdry ex-CEO Sutherland in line for £1m payoff

Lauretta Roberts
12 August 2019

Former Superdry CEO Euan Sutherland, who quit the listed fashion retailer upon the dramatic return to the helm of its co-founder Julian Dunkerton, is in line for a £1m pay-off.

Sutherland quit Superdry on 2 April when Dunkerton, who had left the business in March 2018, was narrowly voted back on to the board by shareholders. Dunkerton had been waging a campaign since the previous autumn to have himself re-instated blaming Sutherland for a sharp decline in the company's fortunes and share price.

In Superdry's annual report it is shown that Sutherland, who joined Superdry as CEO in 2014, is due £867,522 in pay and a further £138,000 in share awards, the This is Money website has reported.

While at Superdry he mostly worked alongside Dunkerton, who relinquished the CEO reins to focus on product. Dunkerton then resigned last March initially stating he was planning to pursue other business and philanthropic activities.

However Dunkerton emerged shortly after with a campaign seeking for his reinstatement and stating he had left the business due to strategic differences with Sutherland and the then chairman Peter Bamford.

Dunkerton was critical of the product, a decision to cut product lines and to introduce childrenswear. He also said the brand had been devalued by too much discounting. For his part Sutherland said some of the decisions Dunkerton was criticising had been made while he was still in post.

However, Dunkerton managed to convince enough shareholders to sway the vote in his favour. He was helped by the fact that he and his fellow co-founder James Holder owned nearly 30% of Superdry’s shares. After the vote, an exodus of the board ensued.

Peter Williams, the former chair of ASOS and Boohoo, who supported Dunkerton in his campaign, became chairman of the company and the pair have just completed the rebuild of the board. The search for a new CEO, however, remains underway as Dunkerton has said he is only holding the CEO reins on a temporary basis.

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