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Superdry co-founder Dunkerton named permanent CEO amid board reshuffle

Fashion retailer Superdry said its co-founder and interim chief executive officer Julian Dunkerton will now be taking on the role as CEO on a permanent basis and industry veteran Silvana Bonello will take on the role as the company’s new chief operating officer.

The company also announced that Peter Williams will step down from his position as company chairman in 2021.

Currently the largest shareholder in Superdry Plc with a 20.3 per cent stake, Dunkerton’s appointment will replace the interim CEO contract which was due to expire on April 2, 2021. As permanent CEO, Dunkerton will build on the progress the British fashion company made on the reset of the business and the brand to date.

Dunkerton, who founded the firm in 2003 along with James Holder, rejoined the company’s board in April last year after narrowly winning a shareholder.

“I am delighted and excited to continue as the CEO of Superdry on a permanent basis, Silvana’s appointment as COO is an important next step for the business,” Dunkerton said. “With Silvana joining the executive team, we now have the right operational leadership to steer the business through these most uncertain times and drive the brand reset as we seek to inspire our customers with design-led, sustainable products and engage with them through our digital channels.”

Bonello, who will report directly to Dunkerton, will be responsible for enhancing the effectiveness of the company’s end-to-end operations and planning processes, encompassing merchandising, logistics, IT, business transformation, sourcing processes and corporate strategy.

According to the company, sustainability will continue to be a primary area of focus for Dunkerton and he will continue to directly oversee the progression of Superdry against its environmental and sustainability agenda.

Bonello, who has had an extensive international career in numerous senior operational and strategic roles in the US and the Netherlands with Nike, where she spent 18 years with the company, and most recently as VP Operations for Vans EMEA, part of the VF Corporation, will be relocating to the UK from Switzerland and take up her new post on March 1, 2021.

Williams, who joined the company as chairman in April 2019, stated he will step down from his post next year once a successor is appointed.

“On behalf of the board, I am delighted to confirm Julian’s appointment as permanent CEO,” he said. “Since rejoining the business last year, Julian has been driving forward the transformation of the business and resetting the Superdry brand with the launch of the AW20 range in the most challenging of times.”  

“There remains much to do, particularly against this current backdrop, and so we are also pleased to strengthen the team further with the appointment of Silvana as COO. She brings a wealth of relevant operational and strategic experience to Superdry,” Williams added.

With the recent appointments and the search for a new CFO, Williams said the company will have completed its executive team by early 2021.

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