Former Co-op boss Euan Sutherland has been appointed group chief executive of fashion retailer SuperGroup.

Sutherland takes over from Supergroup founder Julian Dunkerton who moves to the newly created role of product and brand director. 

Sutherland, who wasl already a non-executive at SuperGroup, takes up the helm with immediate effect. He quit the Co-op in March amid bitter boardroom infighting. Sutherland stepped down as group chief executive after blasting the business as “ungovernable”.

SuperGroup said the hire would allow Dunkerton, along with co-founder James Holder, to “focus more fully on developing the group’s product ranges and enhancing and protecting the brand as it increases its global presence”.

The retailer said Sutherland’s “wealth of experience in international and online expansion…will be instrumental in delivering the growth plans of the company and leading through the complexity that brings”.

It added: “Euan has gained an in-depth understanding of the business, its strategy and its culture during the two years he has been a non-executive director.”

SuperGroup chairman Peter Bamford said: “Euan’s appointment marks another important step in the continued evolution of SuperGroup.  Euan has the stature, skills, experience and personal style to work in partnership with Julian and lead the team through the next stage of the company’s development.”

Dunkerton said: “With the number of opportunities SuperGroup has available and the increasing complexity of the business, now is the right time to bring in a CEO of Euan’s calibre. Having worked with him on the board for two years, I am certain our skills will be complementary and look forward to delivering the continued growth of the Superdry brand together.”

Sutherland said: “SuperGroup is a great business with a strong brand and I am truly delighted to be taking on the challenge of delivering its growth potential.

“The business is at an exciting stage of its development and has numerous opportunities for growth. I admire what the business has achieved and am excited about being part of the team that will deliver the strategy.  Julian and I work well together and have a shared ambition to succeed with the global roll out of the Superdry brand.”

Sutherland was Kingfisher UK & Ireland chief executive and before that headed Superdrug-owner AS Watson’s UK arm.