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Start-rite chief executive Peter Lamble exits ahead of growth push

Family footwear brand Start-rite is hunting for new leadership to push the business forward as chief executive and chairman Peter Lamble prepares to step down 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 he will then have a key non-executive role on the James Southall board.

He told Drapers: “The decision was mine, but as a major shareholder I was able to take the interests of both the company and myself into account when deciding that now is an ideal moment for everyone involved to make the change.

The key qualities we are looking for are a deep understanding of brands and consumers, and inspiring leadership for the team. We have a tremendous amount of footwear expertise in the company already, so are able to search widely for the right leader.”

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, as well as independent shops across the UK and Ireland.

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