Giorgio Presca Takes Up CEO Role at Clarks

Giorgio Presca has been named CEO of the British footwear brand Clarks, replacing Mike Shearwood, who resigned last summer.

Clarks said Monday that Presca will be responsible for all operational, financial and commercial aspects of the business, and will lead the brand strategy with the executive committee. He will join the company in March.

Presca was born in Trieste, Italy, and has more than 20 years’ experience in managing and developing global premium brands, particularly in footwear and apparel. He has worked across listed, private-equity-owned, family-run and founder-led businesses, Clarks said.

His most recent position was CEO at Golden Goose Deluxe Brand, and between 2012 and 2016, he headed the Italian brand Geox, where he restored the business to profitable growth. He has also held senior leadership positions at Diesel, VF Corp., Citizens of Humanity, Levi Strauss & Co. and Lotto.

Presca said he was eager to get started. “Clarks faces the challenges of today’s competitive markets, changing distribution channels and the need to adapt to a rapidly evolving consumer environment,” he said. “It has the competencies and assets to return to sustainable growth and profitability in the course of the next few years.”

Clarks chairman Tom O’Neill said Presca brings “a wealth of experience, including a deep understanding of the footwear market. He will work together with interim CEO Stella David to ensure a smooth transition over the coming weeks.”

O’Neill said that following the transition, David will return to her previous role as non-executive director. “I would like to thank Stella for stepping in as interim CEO at a challenging time for Clarks and for her tireless and engaging leadership in the role.”

David took over last year after Shearwood resigned following allegations of inappropriate behavior.

At the time, Clarks said Shearwood had breached the brand’s 23-page Code of Business Ethics, which “provides guidance on the ethical standards that we expect employees to demonstrate.” Clarks declined to comment on the nature of the allegations made against Shearwood, who had joined the retailer in 2016.

Clarks has a turnover of 1.5 billion pounds ($1.96 billion) and operates through retail, wholesale, franchise and online channels in more than 100 markets worldwide through 22,000 distribution points. It employs 13,000 internationally.

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