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Clarks CEO Mike Shearwood exits over ‘conduct’

Clarks chief executive Mike Shearwood has resigned following an investigation “into complaints of conduct contrary to the family-owned company’s code of business ethics”.

Shearwood, who joined the footwear business in September 2016, has left with immediate effect.

Stella David, the company’s senior independent director, has been appointed interim CEO.

In a statement Clarks said: “Clarks recently learned that aspects of Mr Shearwood’s conduct, conversations and expressions fell short of the behaviours expected of all its employees on a number of occasions. In these circumstances the board has accepted Mr Shearwood’s resignation.”

In its most recent full-year results Clarks reported a loss after tax of £31.3m for the year to 31 January – down from a £26.5m profit after tax the previous year.

Group sales fell 7% year on year to £1.5bn. Underlying group operating profit fell 29% to £45.2m, but EBITDA rose 5% to £97.5m. Net borrowings were reduced to £27.3m, compared with £133.7m the year before.

Prior to working at Clarks, Shearwood was CEO of Karen Millen from 2009 until 2015.

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