Superdry's new creative director is ex-Nike exec Phil Dickinson
In-the-spotlight Superdry has named a new creative chief as it seeks to turn around its business and fight off an attempt by co-founder Julian Dunkerton to return and change the firm’s strategy.
Former Nike exec Phil Dickinson has been appointed as its Creative Director. At Nike he was head of sportswear and also earlier led the sports giant’s drive into football, while his previous experience also included a successful turnaround of the Umbro brand.
He replaces Brigitte Danielmeyer with the company having said earlier this month that “for personal reasons and following a period of compassionate leave before Christmas, [she] has decided to leave her role as the company's Chief Product Officer.”
It’s a critical time for Superdry, the former high-flyer that has struggled to find meaningful sales and profits growth in recent periods. It has suffered from its heavy reliance on cold weather products, the record-breaking hot summer last year proving to be a major problem.
But co-founder Julian Dunkerton, who left earlier last year after a disagreement with the CEO and board over strategy, said that some of its problems are of its own making.
A major shareholder, he has been a vocal critic of the firm and has been courting other big shareholders in order to engineer a return to the company. He’s aiming to convene a shareholder meeting to vote on his reinstatement within a month.
It may not seem to be the most stable environment for Dickinson to join but with his arrival imminent (Tuesday, January 22), CEO Euan Sutherland is taking an upbeat stance.
“Phil is one of the best creatives working in our industry and we are delighted that he is joining Superdry,” he said. “Last summer we kick-started an 18-month product diversification and innovation programme and Phil will bring extra pace, focus and energy to that work.”
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