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SuperGroup appoints Susanne Given as new chief operating officer

SuperGroup has appointed Susanne Given to the newly-created role of chief operating officer and Shaun Wills as chief financial officer.

Financial director Chas Howes will step down from the board on April 23 to take “a role that is less demanding of his time” remaining within the group.

Given and Wills will both join the fashion retailer on April 23.

SuperGroup said Given’s prime focus will be operational improvements and driving efficiencies in the UK retail business.

She will also oversee central support functions including marketing, logistics, sourcing, IT and property. She will join the group and be appointed to the board on April 10.

Given has more than 20 years’ experience in a number of roles for retailers including House of Fraser, Harrods and TK Maxx, where she spent five years, becoming managing director of TK Maxx in the UK and Ireland in 2008. Most recently she was director of fashion and beauty at John Lewis Partnership.

Wills joins SuperGroup from Habitat where he was chief operating officer. Prior to this he was finance director at Fat Face from 2008 to 2010. From from 2000 to 2008 he had various financial roles at New Look where he developed a “highly acclaimed web offering and ecommerce systems”.

Chairman Peter Bamford said: “Susanne’s appointment will allow Julian Dunkerton the space and time to focus on the development of the Superdry brand and our product. I look forward to working with both Susanne and Shaun and on behalf of all at SuperGroup I would like to express thanks to Chas for his total commitment and, in particular, his crucial role in taking the Group through its transition into a public company.”

Veteran retail analyst Nick Bubb said: “They have appointed a chief operating officer, which is a role that is clearly needed, as the group has been struggling to control and manage its store growth and systems overhaul, with chief executive Julian Dunkerton’s skills clearly being in product development.

“But Susanne Given is a surprising  choice, as she was five years at TK Maxx before taking on the role of director of fashion and beauty at John Lewis only a year ago reporting to Peter Ruis.”

Bubb noted Wills’ “lifestyle brand pedigree” at Fat Face.

Last week, SuperGroup appointed Reiss’ European retail director Claire Arksey as its new retail director.

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