John Watkinson, the chief executive of Jones Bootmaker, has stepped down after two and a half years in the role and will be replaced on an interim basis by former chief executive Ken Bartle.
Bartle will return to Jones Bootmaker until a permanent replacement is found. Bartle has more than five decades experience in footwear, holding roles at Clarks and Stead & Simpson before leading the purchase of Jones Bootmaker from Prada with Lance Clark and Peter Phillips. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Drapers Footwear Awards in 2006.
Watkinson led a management buyout of Jones Bootmaker in 2005 but Bartle retained a stake in the business. Jones Bootmaker said in a statement that EBITDA had grown from £3 million to £4.4m since the management buyout. It added that the company remained in a strong financial position with net borrowings of £2.8m down from £7.3m at the time of the buyout.
Jones Bootmaker also said sales had strengthened markedly in September and that the board was confident of strong second half sales for the business.
Watkinson said: “My strong commitment to Jones Bootmaker has always been matched by my commitment to my family who continue to live in Cambridgeshire. I have therefore concluded that it is in the best interests of the business that I step down from my position of chief executive with immediate effect. The business will now be looking for a new chief executive who can provide a more hands on approach.”