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Oliver Sweeney appoints new managing director

Footwear and fashion brand Oliver Sweeney has appointed Chris Webster as managing director and chief operating officer to take charge of the operational and commercial side of the business.

Webster, who has started his new role this week, was previously venture architect director at corporate investment and incubation firm BCG Digital Ventures, where he was responsible for incubating and scaling up digital businesses for FTSE 100 and 250 clients.

Previous roles include commercial director for international ecommerce and director of cross-border trade at Ebay from 2011 to 2013, and various roles at John Lewis between 2006 and 2011, including head of new business development and running the Scottish flagship store in Edinburgh. He was also a senior business analyst at McKinsey & Co between 1999 and 2002.

The new appointment will enable Oliver Sweeney’s CEO and cobbler-in-chief Tim Cooper to focus on product development and the brand.

Oliver Sweeney, which was founded as a footwear brand in 1989, has achieved annual sales growth of 20% over the last five years and has a turnover of around £9m. It launched its first clothing collection for autumn 16.

The brand currently has more than 90 UK stockists and trades from seven stores.

Maurice Helfgott, chairman of the brand, said: ”Having started his career at McKinsey & Co, Chris has built a track record of successfully leading on and offline businesses in consumer industries both here in the UK and internationally, from nimble start-ups to big established companies.”

Webster added: “The team has hit a number of major milestones over the last few years, including the launch of clothing; scaling a substantial digital business; opening of five new stores; and building a strong and vibrant team and culture.”

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