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February 25, 2019

Clarks taps Giorgio Presca as new CEO

By Beth Wright

UK footwear group Clarks has named Giorgio Presca as chief executive officer following the resignation of Mike Shearwood last year.

Presca, who will join the company next month, will be responsible for all operational, financial and commercial aspects of the business and will lead the Clarks strategy with the executive committee.

He succeeds Shearwood who resigned in June following an investigation into complaints surrounding his conduct.

“I am pleased to welcome Giorgio to Clarks as our new CEO,” said Clarks chairman Tom O’Neill. “He 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, after which Stella 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.” 

Born in Trieste, Italy, Presca has more than 20 years of experience in managing and developing global premium brands, particularly in the footwear and apparel industries, working across listed, private-equity-owned, family-run, and founder-led businesses.

His most recent position was CEO at Italian high fashion sneaker brand Golden Goose Deluxe, where he led the operating transformation, rapid growth and global expansion of the business.

Between 2012 and 2016 he was CEO at Italian apparel and footwear business Geox where he executed a brand and company turnaround and returned the business to profitable growth. Previously, Presca built his track record in senior leadership positions in Diesel, VF Corporation jeanswear international division, Citizens of Humanity, Levi Strauss & Co, and Lotto.

“I cannot wait to join an iconic and historic brand like Clarks and work closely with the board, the executive committee, its 13,000 people and operating partners across the world,” Presca added. “Clarks faces the challenges of today’s competitive markets, changing distribution channels and the need to adapt to a rapidly evolving consumer environment but has the competence and assets to return to sustainable growth and profitability in the course of the next few years.”

Last month, less than two years after setting up a new facility to restart its UK footwear production, Clarks announced it is to close the unit after failing to meet production and cost targets.

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