Clarks just named a new CEO, the fourth appointment for the top executive role in the last four years, excluding interim leaders in the position.
The British footwear brand on Tuesday announced that Jonathan Ram will serve as the company’s new CEO, effective April 2022. Ram comes to Clarks after serving as the group president for global activewear at Hanesbrands Inc. Prior to that, he spent 16 years in various roles at New Balance, culminating in serving as EVP of North America.
“It is truly an honor to be given the opportunity to lead the Clarks business and work with such a talented team,” said Ram. “Significant progress has been made in the last year and my focus is on taking the company to the next level of growth and success.”
Ram takes the helm of a company that has seen significant turnover in the last few years, especially in the chief executive position. Ram’s appointment comes about four months after former CEO Victor Herrero stepped down from the role in November after serving just nine months in the position. Clarks’ then-chairman Johnny Chen had filled in as interim CEO since November.
Herrero joined as CEO in March of 2021 after another former CEO, Giorgio Presca, stepped down “to pursue other opportunities” after LionRock Capital acquired a majority stake in Clarks for an investment of £100 million. Presca had served in the top role for just two years and had initially come on board in 2019 to replace former CEO Mike Shearwood, who resigned in June of 2018 following an investigation into complaints of conduct that went against the company’s code of business ethics. He had been in the role since 2016.
Stella David, Clarks’ senior independent director, served as interim CEO after Shearwood’s departure.
“I am pleased to welcome Jon to Clarks as our new CEO,” said Clarks chairman Colin Li. “With the appointment of Jon as CEO we now look forward to a new phase where we will focus on growing our business in current and new markets and channels, and Jon will take a leading role in taking Clarks to the next level.”
Like many retailers across the globe, Clarks was hit hard by pandemic-related headwinds. In May 2020, Clarks laid out a turnaround plan that involved laying off about 900 corporate employees and focusing more deeply on sustainability and digital growth. In November 2020, Clarks inked a deal with LionRock Capital for the firm to take a majority stake in the business, which had been struggling from store closures and liquidity needs. The Clark family has remained a significant shareholder.