Former chief executive of Karen Millen, Mike Shearwood, has been appointed chief executive of Clarks.
Shearwood was CEO of Karen Millen from 2009 until 2015. He replaces Melissa Potter who left in September last year.
Tom O’Neill, executive chairman, at Clarks said: “Mike brings an exceptional combination of business leadership together with strong brand and retail skills. He also brings proven experience of introducing and applying innovative omni-channel initiatives, which will help us deliver on our new strategy and accelerate plans to deliver the next chapter of Clarks’ development. We look forward to Mike leading our strategy. Today’s announcement reflects the outcome of the rigorous and extensive work by the Board to identify the leadership necessary to support our next phase of growth.”
Shearwood added: “I am excited by the opportunity to lead a world class brand with strong heritage and a highly skilled global workforce. I look forward to working with its talented and experienced board and management team to deliver the next chapter of its development. Clarks has a long heritage and trusted reputation as a shoemaker and I know has a strong future as a continued leader in the market, with a reputation for innovation and design.”
Clarks’ group operating profit fell 59% to £45.8m for the year to January 31, after a combination of “over-ambitious business plans” and an “excessive focus on short-term performance” led to a “significant” amount of excess inventory.
As revealed by Drapers in February, Clarks restructured its UK team resulting in 170 redundancies.