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Exclusive: More senior departures at Clarks

Clarks chief supply officer Antony Perillo will leave the business in June, becoming the latest in a string of senior departures in recent weeks, Drapers can exclusively reveal.

Perillo has been with Clarks since 2006. Clarks confirmed he is leaving the business to return to his native New Zealand. The retailer has already started the search for his replacement.

Drapers can also reveal that chief brand officer Jason Beckley, and head of men’s footwear Paul Tudor have left Clarks.

It comes after chief commercial officer Steve Finlan left last month after four years to become chief executive at the Wine Society.

Beckley had been in post for three years. 

A spokeswoman for Clarks explained that his departure followed a restructuring: “We are continuing to transform our business to better respond to customer needs and market demands. Following a period of strategic review, we have decided to integrate our global product teams and global merchandising teams to create a global product and merchandising function. Global marketing will become a standalone function.

“We feel these changes will enable us to continue delivering outstanding products across our brand portfolio and better respond to customer needs.

“Regrettably, as a result of these structural changes there is no longer a requirement for the role of chief brand officer at Clarks. As such, Jason Beckley has left the business. We would like to thank Jason for his significant contribution to the business over the past three-and-a-half years and wish him well.”

Tudor joined Clarks in 2016 as senior product manager. A reason was not given for his departure from the business. 

Drapers revealed in December that Clarks’ head of UK sales, Victoria Frayne, and head of sales for Ireland, Mark O’Driscoll, had left the business after 31 and 13 years, respectively.

Last June, Mike Shearwood resigned as CEO of Clarks following an investigation into his conduct. Stella David, senior independent director of Clarks, took over as interim CEO.

Last week, Clarks announced that its new UK factory in Somerset could close after less than a year as it failed to meet manufacturing and cost targets. All 49 members of staff are involved in a 30-day consultation process.

The state-of-the-art factory was planned to open in 2017, creating up to 80 jobs. Clarks hoped to make 300,000 pairs of desert boots a year at the facility. However, the factory only started production in summer 2018.

Several industry sources described the planned closure as a “missed opportunity” for UK manufacturing as Brexit nears.

In its most recent figures for the year to 31 January 2018, Clarks made a loss of £31.3m, down from a profit after tax of £26.5m the previous year.

 

 

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