London - British footwear retailer Clarks has tapped Mike Shearwood, former Chief Executive Officer of Karen Millen as its new CEO. His appointment at the footwear retailers comes after a turbulent year, which saw Clarks sailing with a permanent leader.
Both Clarks former CEO Melissa Potter, and CFO Robin Beacham, left their roles respectively last September, as the retailer struggled to face a "highly demanding commercial and economic environment." Shearwood left his role at Karen Millen around the same time, following a failed management buyout bid to acquire the fashion retailer from its Icelandic bank owner.
"I am excited by the opportunity to lead a world class brand with strong heritage and a highly skilled global workforce," said Shearwood to Retail Week on his new role. "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."
Since the departure of Potter and Beacham at Clarks, chairman Tom O'Neill has taken on both positions in the interim. However, he will remain on the management team in the meantime to ensure Shearwood's smooth transitioning. "Mike brings an exceptional combination of business leadership together with strong brand and retail skills," said O'Neill. "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 are pleased to have found a new CEO [who] is resilient and global in his outlook, with values which closely align with those of Clarks. Mike will continue the considerable work undertaken by the business since September and I will help to ensure his smooth transition into Clarks. We all look forward to working with him."
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