David Short is to step down as chief executive of Brantano and Jones Bootmaker.
Short, who has been CEO for eight years, will remain with the business until October to ensure a smooth handover and provide additional support for Brantano “as it continues its development, post-restructuring in early 2016”.
Former Arnotts CEO David Riddiford has been appointed as executive chairman of the two footwear businesses.
Riddiford was previously global CEO of jewellery company Links of London from September 2011 to December 2012, CEO of Irish department store Arnotts from November 2006 to October 2010 and president of Lane Crawford for two years to 2006.
Most recently he was UK chief executive of Danish jewellery firm Trollbeads from October 2013 to March 2015.
In October 2015 Alteri Investors bought Jones Bootmaker and Brantano UK for €17m (£12.2m) from now bankrupt Dutch firm Macintosh.
In January Brantano fell into administration. A month later Alteri bought the majority of Brantano out of administration for £7m, saving 81 stores, 59 concessions and 1,372 jobs. The sale excluded 57 stores and one concession.
Short said: “After eight years as CEO, the time feels right, both for myself and the business, to move on to a new challenge.
“Now that the fundamental elements of the restructuring phase are complete, it is an ideal point at which to step down and allow the business to move into its next phase of development and growth under new leadership. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with both brands … and I wish them every success in the future.”
Gavin George, chief executive of Alteri, welcomed Riddiford’s track record of leading retail businesses to growth and said: “We are confident that under his guidance, Jones Bootmaker and Brantano will be able to re-establish their status in the UK market, and potentially overseas.”
Riddiford added: “With an enhanced customer proposition, I’m confident that we can build on Jones’ impressive heritage in contemporary craftsmanship and Brantano’s distinct value for money positioning.”
The firms have made a series of recent hires, including Ben Harness to the newly created role of director of multichannel and Neil Holden as the new head of IT.
At Jones Bootmaker, Sarah Davies joined as chief product officer in June, and Barbara Lucas was appointed as head of design in May. They will work with retail operations director Dan Shaw to relaunch the brand later this year.
Brantano’s development will be driven separately by chief product officer Simon Cook and retail operations director Karen Staton.