Nov 16, 2021
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Johnstons of Elgin CEO exits, CFO steps up

Nov 16, 2021

Heritage knitwear brand Johnstons of Elgin has promoted long-serving executive Chris Gaffney to CEO, replacing Simon Cotton who is stepping down to "move on to new things".

Johnstons of Elgin

Gaffney previously held the roles of both group finance director and managing director of its Elgin Mill. He has served on the board since joining the company in 2011.

Cotton, who has been the CEO of Johnstons of Elgin since 2013, said of his departure: "I joined Johnstons of Elgin almost eight years ago and it has been a tremendous privilege to be part of this amazing team. Coming out of the pandemic was the perfect time to review my future and I feel that now, after we have successfully navigated the last two challenging years, it is the perfect time for me to move on."

He added: “Johnstons will continue to prosper thanks to the strong plans in place. I leave the business in the very capable hands and will be watching the company’s next steps with excitement and pride.”

Chairwoman Jenny Urquhart added: “Simon's strong and sincerely thoughtful leadership has steered us through an eight-year period with exceptional success.  He’s inspired us all and he has carried out his job to great effect with a strong succession now in place to continue moving forwards.”

In July, the company warned that annual sales would be “significantly impaired” as a result of Covid-19. The company  admitted revenues could fall by more than 30% this year and forecast a slow recovery for 2021.

It comes after strong results for 2019, with sales reaching £77 million on the back of growing demand from international consumers. 

Established in 1797, the knitwear manufacturer also has a flagship store on London’s New Bond Street and retail spaces in Elgin, St Andrews and Hawick.

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