Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

43. Melissa Potter, former chief executive, Clarks

Melissa Potter

Position last year: 23

2015 was a tough year for footwear giant Clarks, which led to the shock exit of Potter from the business and is reflected in her tumble down the Top 100 list.

The retailer, which has more than 1,000 stores worldwide, blamed discounting on the high street and problems with its US business for a fall in sales. In its most recent results sales fell 3.2% to £1.49bn in year ended in January 2015, although lower pension and interest costs helped pre-tax profits rise 1.4% to £121.5m. Sales in the US fell 10.6% and profits by 22.9%. Warm weather and Black Friday 2014 promotions hit UK sales.

It was this poor trading that led to the surprise exits of both Potter and chief financial officer Robin Beacham in September. Potter left after 27 years with the family-owned retailer, while Beacham had worked there for nine. Thomas O’Neill will lead the business as executive chairman until a replacement for Potter is appointed. Her next move is not yet known.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.