SuperGroup has made two senior appointments, poaching Susanne Given from John Lewis and hiring former Habitat chief operating officer Shaun Wills.
Given has been appointed to the newly-created role of chief operating officer at SuperGroup and takes her place on the board on April 10. Wills joins as chief financial officer, also a board position, on April 23.
Finance director Chas Howes will step down from the board on April 23 to take “a role that is less demanding of his time”, but will remain within the group.
SuperGroup said Given’s prime focus will be operational improvements and driving efficiencies in the UK retail business.
Given, who has been at John Lewis for just over a year, will also oversee central support functions including marketing, logistics, sourcing, IT and property for SuperGroup.
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.
Before Habitat, Wills was finance director at Fat Face from 2008 to 2010. From 2000 to 2008 he had various financial roles at New Look where he developed a “highly acclaimed web offering and e-commerce systems”.
SuperGroup chairman Peter Bamford said: “Susanne’s appointment will allow [chief executive] 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.”
Independent 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, Retail-Week.com revealed that SuperGroup had poached Reiss’s European retail director Claire Arksey as its new retail director.