Clarks appoints ex-Karen Millen boss Mike Shearwood as new chief executive

Clarks has hired ex-Karen Millen boss Mike Shearwood as its chief executive, following a year without a permanent boss.

Shearwood, who will join the footwear retailer today, quit Karen Millen last September after a failed bid for a management buyout from the retailer’s Icelandic owner, Kaupthing bank.

Mike Shearwood is Clark's new boss

Shearwood was chief executive of Karen Millen from 2012, before which he was boss of the retailer’s umbrella group Aurora Fashions, which also owned Oasis, Coast and Warehouse. Previous to that he held senior roles at Inditex and Mosaic.

Clarks has been without a chief executive since long-time boss Melissa Potter and finance chief Robin Beacham left in September last year, following falling sales.

Since their departure, chairman Tom O’Neill has taken on both roles, and will aid Shearwood in the transition.

O’Neill 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 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.”

Shearwood said: “I am excited by the opportunity to lead a world class brand with strong heritage and a highly skilled global workforce.

“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.”

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