Belfast Telegraph

Superdry founder returns as chief executive on permanent basis

Julian Dunkerton has revealed he will stay around until at least April 2021 to help find a long-term successor.

Superdry founder Julian Dunkerton has seen his contract extended until at least April 2021 (Steven Paston/PA)
Superdry founder Julian Dunkerton has seen his contract extended until at least April 2021 (Steven Paston/PA)

By Simon Neville, PA City Editor

The founder of fashion brand Superdry has been appointed chief executive on a permanent basis as his control is extended for a further 18 months.

Julian 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.

Mr 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.”

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Julian Dunkerton said he is launching a ‘design-led’ recovery of Superdry (Superdry/PA)

The founder of the group brought in Euan Sutherland in 2014 as chief executive, but Mr Dunkerton was unimpressed at the new strategy and staged a coup to rejoin the board with Mr Williams by his side.

His attempts were successful and in April Mr Dunkerton returned to the board as interim chief executive.

However, the coup proved costly and led to a mass exodus, including Mr Sutherland.

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

Mr 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 April 27, 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.

PA

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