German fashion retailer Gerry Weber has announced another series of changes to its management board, less than a year since its initial shake-up.
CEO Ralf Weber has resigned from his post. Weber who has been CEO since 2015 will leave his post at the end of October.
Johannes Ehling, chief sales and chief digital officer, will assume the position of spokesperson of the board, taking over the responsibilities of Weber from 1 November.
Weber will remain on the supervisory board of the company.
“In Ralf Weber our managing board loses a wholehearted entrepreneur with a strong emotional bond to Gerry Weber International AG and the entire region. He took great responsibility in a time of great difficulty and initiated the restructuring of our organisation with FIT4GROWTH and the performance program,” says Dr. Ernst F. Schröder, chairman of the supervisory board of Gerry Weber International. “We are therefore all the more looking forward to the knowledgeable and vigorous contributions of Ralf Weber in the supervisory board.
Weber adds: “I am convinced, that right now the right time has come to foster the implementation of the upcoming future concept with a new management structure. With joint forces and the support of all members of the managing board and the supervisory board, we will lead Gerry Weber back on track.”
The group recently initiated a new performance programme to focus on digitisation and build a leaner businesses structure – a move that resulted in up to 150 job cuts.
Last month the group announced a third-quarter sales fall of 7.3% to EUR575.1m (US$658.7m).
It attributed the fall to “continuous structural weakness in the German and European stationary trade in textiles, the exceedingly hot summer, ripple effects from store closures in context of the concluded FIT4GROWTH programme, as well as planned adjustments of the business model as part of the performance programme announced in June”.
It reported EBITDA of EUR31m compared with EUR36.1m for the period and an operating loss of EUR1.6m compared with an EUR2.3m profit a year earlier.
“The unsatisfactory sales development strengthens our determination, to emphatically adjust our business model and drive this transformation, where possible, with even great vigour,” Weber said at the time. “We have already made significant steps, although it will take time, until our progress will become visible in our results. Currently, we fundamentally change our thinking and mode of operation – without any taboos. It is the core of our performance programme to become faster, more flexible and at the same time more modern while entirely focusing on our customers.”
Yesterday’s announcement also included the appointment of Florian Frank to the position of chief restructuring officer (CRO).
“In Florian Frank we were able to secure a very adept restructuring expert,” says Schroder. “With his expertise and vast experience from countless mandates he will be an ideal support for Gerry Weber group, to continue the course for sustainable profitable growth stringently and with high pace.”
The company has also initiated the search for the newly-created position of chief product officer. The post holder will be responsible for the positioning of all Gerry Weber brands, their products as well as procurement.
The CFO position remains vacant with the company saying it is aiming at “filling the vacancy in a timely manner”. David Frink resigned from the position in November 2017.
Gerhard Weber – one of the founders – has retired from the company.