He’s back for good … Superdry founder made permanent CEO

SuperdryJulian Dunkerton

Superdry founder Julian Dunkerton has been appointed Chief Executive Officer on a permanent basis and will be supported by the appointment of Silvana Bonello as Chief Operating Officer. 

The Board also announces that Peter Williams has decided to step down from the Board and his role as Chairman in 2021.

The Board has appointed Julian Dunkerton on a permanent basis, replacing his interim contract which was previously due to expire on 2 April 2021. As permanent CEO, Julian will continue to drive the reset of the business and the brand to date, and ensure Superdry fulfils its potential as a world-class, sustainable fashion brand. He is currently the largest shareholder in Superdry plc, with a 20.3% stake. 

Silvana Bonello, as Chief Operating Officer, will report directly to Julian and become a member of the Executive team. In her new role Silvana 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.  Her proven skills across these responsibilities will allow Julian to focus on delivering the strategic plan across Superdry’s product, brand and distribution channels. Sustainability will continue to be a primary area of focus for Julian and he will continue to directly oversee the progression of Superdry against its environmental and sustainability agenda. 

Silvana 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), and most recently as VP Operations for Vans EMEA (part of the VF Corporation).   She will relocate to the UK from Switzerland and take up her new post on 1 March 2021.

Peter Williams has indicated that he will step down as Chairman in 2021, once a successor is appointed. Peter joined as Chairman in April 2019, supporting Julian’s return to Superdry. Since that time Peter has played a vital role in stabilising the business, supporting the reset of the brand, and successfully overseeing the formation of a new Board and management team appropriate for the task ahead. A process to appoint a new Chair is underway.

Peter Williams, Chairman of the Board of Superdry, said: “On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to confirm Julian’s appointment as permanent CEO. Since re-joining 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.

“I joined Superdry as Chairman with a clear goal of ensuring a smooth transition following the change of management last year. I am proud of the progress we are making to stabilise the business and reset the Superdry brand since last April. Julian and Silvana’s appointments are amongst the last steps in putting the right team together to secure the turnaround of the business. With the search for a new CFO well advanced, the completed executive team will be in place early next year and so 2021 is an appropriate time for me to step down. Superdry is a world-class brand and I am proud to have played my part in its turnaround strategy and putting the foundations in place for a more successful future.” 

Julian Dunkerton, Chief Executive Officer, said: “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. 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 product and engage with them through our digital channels.

“Peter has been a key figure in getting Superdry back on track, and a great support to me and colleagues in the business over the past 18 months. We now have a strong Board and leadership team, and a great platform from which to continue the transformation of the business and reset of the brand. Peter leaves Superdry in a much stronger position than when we joined. For that, the Board and I are tremendously grateful, and we wish him every success in the future.”