Sweaty Betty chief executive Julia Straus and chief operating officer Mark Smith are set to step down this summer following the brand’s takeover, Drapers reported. 

Julia Straus

Sweaty Betty chief executive Julia Straus is to step down

The sportswear retailer was acquired by Wolverine Worldwide, a US-based footwear group, for approximately £300m in August 2021. 

Straus and Smith will continue at  Sweaty Betty until the summer as the brand searches for successors. 

Straus joined Sweaty Betty in July 2018 as managing director before being promoted to chief executive in 2019.  

Smith joined the business as chief operating officer in September 2018. He was previously managing director and finance director at Vietnamese restaurant Pho.

A statement from Sweaty Betty said: “Sweaty Betty confirms that, after five years at Sweaty Betty and growing the business threefold, CEO Julia Straus has taken the tough decision to leave the company to enable her to move back to the US with her husband later this year and raise their daughters closer to family. 

“Julia will continue in the role until June, playing a key part in selecting her successor, and will also be actively involved in the handover period beyond that to ensure a seamless transition period.” 

The statement continued: “COO Mark Smith has also decided that this year is the right time to leave Sweaty Betty to pursue new opportunities. Mark joined the business in 2011 and has overseen a retail expansion of the brand from 15 stores to 90 plus stores in that time, and a tenfold growth in revenue. 

“Mark will also stay in position over the summer to oversee the interview process for his successor and an extremely smooth transition overall.” 

Straus said: “It’s been a privilege to lead Sweaty Betty through many chapters over these past five years. I’m extremely proud of the team we have built that has expanded the business on a global level whilst staying true to our mission to empower women.” 

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