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Deckers EMEA president Steve Murray to leave

Steve Murray, Deckers’ president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is stepping down from the footwear company, citing personal reasons.

Last night Angel Martinez, chairman, chief executive and president of California-based Deckers Outdoor Corporation, emailed staff to announce “with disappointment” his departure.

Murray, who has been at Deckers nearly three years, will continue at the company until the end of the year “to ensure a smooth transition”. The company has started a recruitment process for his replacement.

Martinez added: “Steve was instrumental in converting the EMEA region to a subsidiary based model three years ago and has built a strong team and foundation for future growth in our key European markets. 

“I would like to thank Steve for his dedication and commitment to the EMEA region, and for his hard work in driving and leading the FIX project last year. We all wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Murray joined from Urban Outfitters, where he was brand president, in 2011.

His departure comes a day after Deckers Outdoor Corporation - whose brands include Ugg - published strong full year results, showing that net sales increased 10% to $1.56bn from $1.42bn in 2012, with gross margins up 260 basis points.

However the company has seen its share price fall on the back of a muted forecast for the first half of 2014. The statement said although sales were expected to rise 6% in the three months to the end of March, it expected earnings to fall for the first half of the year.

“A significant amount of our operating expenses are fixed and spread evenly on an absolute dollar basis throughout each quarter. This includes the costs associated with the 28 new stores that were not open until the second half of 2013. Therefore, we expect our earnings to decline in the first half of 2014 as compared to the first half of 2013, which are typically our lowest volume sales quarters, and increase over 2013 in the back half of the calendar year,” the statement said.

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