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Retail veteran Paul Mason joins Dr Martens as non-exec chairman

Former Asda and Matalan boss Paul Mason became non-executive chairman at Dr Martens today, succeeding David Suddens, who has stepped down to pursue other opportunities.

Mason was appointed non-executive chairman of New Look in September 2014, but stepped down in June this year as South African investment group Brait completed its acquisition of the retailer. He was replaced by Brait chief executive John Gnodde.

Mason is the current chairman of Cath Kidston and Mayborn Group, the owner of baby products brand Tommee Tippee. He was previously EMEA president of Levi Strauss and has been chief executive at Asda, Somerfield and Matalan.

The Dr Martens board thanked Suddens for his valued contribution over the last 13 years, recognising him as the driving force behind the turnaround of the business, leading to its stabilisation, growth and eventual sale to the Permira funds in 2014.

“I would like to thank David for his huge contribution to Dr Martens and wish him all the best as he now embarks upon new challenges elsewhere,” said Dr Martens chief executive Steve Murray.

“Paul joins us at a very exciting time for the company. I am sure his insights and vast retail experience will be invaluable to Dr Martens as we continue to grow our business globally.”

Suddens said: “I am sorry to be leaving Dr Martens, a business and ‘family’ that has meant so much to me over the last 13 years. But with a new, executive role elsewhere, I will not be able to do justice to my chairman responsibilities.

“I believe that with Steve and Paul now at the helm, Dr Martens will continue to grow and prosper.”

Suddens’ next role has not yet been announced.

Mason added: “I am thrilled to be joining one of the UK’s most iconic brands during what is an exciting new phase for the business. I look forward to working closely with Steve and his team to help drive further growth both in the UK and internationally.”

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