LONDON — Dr. Martens chief executive officer Steve Murray has stepped down and the company has yet to find a replacement, according to an internal memo obtained by WWD.
The company’s chairman Paul Mason has taken over his responsibilities in the interim and is supporting the global leadership team.
The memo said the hunt for Murray’s replacement will start shortly, although the company believes “it is likely it will take some time to find the right person, and it is not a decision we are looking to rush.”
“It was a privilege to lead the company through this important phase in its history, and to help build on its already strong product offering,” Murray said in the statement.
“I am proud of what we have achieved during the three years I have been ceo. With the foundations in place, I am sure Dr. Martens will continue to grow both in the U.K. and internationally.”
The company added that following key hires and structural changes spearheaded by Murray, it is now ready to enter “a new phase of accelerated growth.”
Dr. Martens is owned by private equity firm Permira, which acquired its parent, R. Griggs Group, in 2013 for 300 million pounds. The shoe brand, a symbol of rebellion and counter-culture for decades, was founded by the Munich-based Dr. Klaus Märtens and his university friend Dr. Herbert Funck.
From the beginning, it was manufactured by R. Griggs in the U.K., controlled by the Griggs family, and the Märtens name was anglicized to Martens.
Murray was named ceo in 2014, following the Permira acquisition. He replaced David Suddens, who became a non-executive chairman of the company. Murray had previously served as president of EMEA at Deckers Outdoor.
Prior to that he was president of VF Corp.’s Action Sports Coalition, responsible for the Vans, Reef and Pro-Tec brands.