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Superdry names former Helly Hansen CEO as new chair

By Huw Hughes

26 Apr 2021

People

Image: Superdry, St David's

Superdry has appointed the former CEO of Norwegian outerwear retailer Helly Hansen as its new chair.

Sjölander was at the helm of Helly Hansen between 2007 to 2015, during which time he oversaw its transition from a business focusing on local Scandinavian markets to a globally recognised brand.

He has also spent 13 years at Nike across a number of leadership roles spanning marketing, product and general management, working in the Nordics, the Netherlands and the US.

Sjölander is also a non-executive director of Sweden-listed Dometic Group AB and Finland-listed Fiskars Oyj.

New chair at Superdry

He will take on the role of Superdry chair and will join the company’s board on April 29, replacing Peter Williams who is stepping down after two years in the role.

CEO Julian Dunkerton thanked outgoing chair Williams for his time at the company, and welcomed Sjölander who he described as having “a tremendous track record of driving value creation and is a true digitally-focused brand leader”.

Dunkerton said in a release: “The turnaround of Helly Hansen that he led when he was CEO, building a globally recognised brand with significant e-commerce revenues, was highly impressive, and through his work with leading global brands such as Nike, he has accumulated fantastic brand, digital and international experience, all of which will be invaluable as we emerge from the challenges of Covid and accelerate the reset of Superdry.”

Sjölander said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Chairman of Superdry, a world-class brand which I have admired for many years. The Board, Julian and the Executive Team have a clear vision for the business and have made a great start on the reset, and I am really looking forward to working with everyone to restore Superdry to its rightful position as a leading global brand.”

Superdry has undergone a significant restructuring since founder and CEO Dunkerton returned to the helm of the company in 2019 after narrowly winning a shareholders vote.

He had left the company a year earlier but wanted to return to steer the struggling retailer back to its former glory following what he saw as major failings by its then management.

But Covid-19 has proved itself a major roadblock since then. For the six months to 24 October 2020, underlying loss before tax at the retailer widened to 10.6 million pounds compared to 2.3 million pounds last year.

Revenue fell by 23.4 percent to 282.7 million pounds in the period as the pandemic forced stores to close.