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Start-rite appoints non-executive chairman

Stephen Riley has joined the board of family footwear brand Start-rite as non-executive chairman.

Riley specialises in consumer brands and international development and has worked with companies including pottery and tableware manufacturer Denby, sports equipment supplier Gilbert Rugby and waterproof and windproof clothing specialist Sealskinz.

Peter Lamble, Start-rite’s chairman and chief executive, said: ”Today, consumers play a pivotal role and business success is determined by how well companies can meet their demands and expectations. Stephen’s consumer and brand experience, combined with a common sense approach will ensure we remain focussed on this as the business progresses.”

The move follows the announcement in October that Lamble is to step down from the business after 25 years.

Start-rite parent company James Southall & Co had been looking for investment, but when it failed to find a suitable commercial partner it was decided a new chairman and chief executive were needed to “implement and deliver a long-term business plan”.

Lamble will remain in the business until the new appointments are made and will then have a key non-executive role on the James Southall board.

Lamble was the eighth generation to run Start-rite, first launched in 1792, after joining in 1990 as financial director. He was latterly managing director, and then chief executive and chairman for the last 20 years.

Start-rite has more than 400 stockists including John Lewis, Jones Bootmaker and Brantano UK, as well as independents across the UK and Ireland.

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