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Clothing & Shoes

Clarks CEO steps down amid C-suite shake-up

Drapers is reporting that Giorgio Presca, as well as other members of the executive team, have stepped down from their roles

Giorgio Presca has reportedly stepped down from his role as CEO of Clarks, according to Drapers.

Presca, along with the shoe retailer’s chief commercial officer, Massimo Barzaghi and chief people officer, Difna Blamey, are said to have exited the business last week.

Victor Herrero, the retailer’s non-executive director, will reportedly take on the dual role of CEO and executive chairman.

Retail Sector has approached Clarks for comment regarding Presca’s exit.

In December, Clarks announced that its shareholders had approved a financial rescue deal from a Hong Kong-based private equity company.

LionRock Capital will invest £100m in the shoe retailer as part of a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA).

As a result of this new partnership, none of Clarks’ 320 stores will have to close, and no jobs will be lost.

Under the CVA, 60 of Clarks’ stores will pay no rent at all, while rent will be turnover-based at the remaining 260, with rent being based on how much customers spend at each store.

Last year, Philip de Klerk, interim CFO at Clarks, said: “Like many businesses in our sector, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the current economic uncertainty has created a tough retail environment.

“The investment from LionRock Capital and the restructuring of our retail footprint, combined with the on-going support from our existing lenders and our focus on cash management and cost control, will provide funding for the company’s seasonal working capital needs and its transformation strategy.”

He added: “In order to address the permanent shift in structural shopping behaviour as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the CVA is being launched out of absolute necessity.”

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