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Superdry extends Dunkerton's CEO role

Lauretta Roberts
14 October 2019

Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton has been appointed chief executive on a permanent basis as his control is extended for a further 18 months.

Dunkerton, who wrested back control of the boardroom after heavily criticising the previous management, will now have the extra time to push through his “design-led” overhaul.

Chairman Peter Williams said: “Julian has a clear vision and his creativity, ambition and leadership will be crucial for the turnaround of the business.

“As interim CEO, Julian has already been working closely with the team to execute this plan and, while much remains to be done, the necessary foundations are being laid.”

He added that the extra time also means the pair can look for a long-term successor.

Dunkerton said: “Since I have returned to the business full-time, I have been working with the team to put in place the plan that will turn around Superdry, with a focus on its design-led roots and strengthening the retail basics.

“We are already seeing early signs of progress and, while this will take time, we are excited to realise the brand’s full potential.”

Dunkerton had been CEO at Superdry until 2014 when he stepped aside to allow former Co-op boss Euan Sutherland take the reins. Dunkerton, who had been focusing on product, stood down in March 2018, but by autumn of that year had launched a campaign to have himself reinstated to the board with Williams by his side.

His attempts were successful and in April Dunkerton returned to the board as interim chief executive. However, the coup led to a mass exodus of the board, including Sutherland.

Since then, Williams has strengthened the board with non-executive appointments including former finance chiefs from Marks & Spencer and New Look.

Dunkerton’s base pay will remain at £600,000 a year, excluding any bonuses. In July, he revealed his first set of results since returning to the group – a loss before tax of £85.4 million for the year to 27 April (for which he had been absent from the business), compared with a £65.3 million profit this time last year.

On an underlying basis, pre-tax profits dropped 56.8% to £41.9 million. Revenue was flat at £871.7 million.

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