Clarks boss Shearwood exits on conduct issues, interim CEO named

In shock news Monday, UK footwear specialist Clarks confirmed that its CEO Mike Shearwood “has resigned following an investigation into complaints of conduct contrary to the family-owned company’s Code of Business Ethics.”


Clarks didn’t specify what the problems were but said it recently learned that “aspects of Shearwood’s conduct, conversations and expressions fell short of the behaviours expected of all its employees on a number of occasions. In these circumstances the board has accepted [his] resignation.”

It has moved fast to name an interim CEO with Stella David, formerly the company’s senior independent director named to the role.

That was all Clarks was saying about the departure of the executive who joined the firm in September 2016 and who had previously been in charge at fashion chain Karen Millen.

The company has been going through a period of change recently with Clarks unveiling a turnaround strategy with a greater focus on web sales. And the Somerset-based firm has also announced that it is to bring large-scale manufacturing back to Britain for the first time in 12 years with a new plant being built next to its head office.

And a turnaround is certainly needed with the year to the end of January seeing profits dropping to £45.2 million from £63.7 million as its still-substantial sales dipped to £1.5 billion from £1.6 billion.

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