Hot Tuna chief executive Niels Juul has stepped down from his role at the surfwear brand.
Hot Tuna said it was looking for a replacement for Juul. In the meantime it has appointed UK general manager Geoffrey O’Connell to the board and expanded his role. Industry insider said that O’Connell could be the eventual successor to Juul.
O’Connell will help expand the brand in the UK and Australia. O’Connell has overseen the growth of Hot Tuna in the UK and Europe, as well as heading a restructure of the brand’s Australian operations last year.
A statement from Hot Tuna said: “He [O’Connell] has substantial experience in the Australian and UK retail markets and global logistics which will assist the company in expanding across these regions.”
The statement continued: “With the appointment of Geoffrey, Niels Juul has agreed to step down as chief executive and director of Hot Tuna International and all of its subsidiary companies with immediate effect.”
Sales at Hot Tuna rose 31% for the six months ended December 3, with losses cut by 59% to £679,000 thanks to cost cutting at the group.
Hot Tuna opened its first UK store in Shoreditch in East London in August. It also sells via 45 Debenhams stores and has more than 250 independent stockists worldwide.