LONDON — Having recapitalized the business earlier this month, Hunter is prepping for growth, searching for a new chief executive officer and launching a strategic review.
The British boot and outerwear brand will reveal today that, by mutual agreement, chief executive officer Vincent Wauters will leave his role on July 31 to pursue new opportunities.
Paolo Porta, formerly of Jimmy Choo, will assume Wauters’ responsibilities while a search for a new, full-time ceo takes place. Porta was formerly senior vice president of merchandising and licensing at Jimmy Choo and “will bring considerable international experience in merchandising, licensing, brand development, distribution and retail management,” Hunter said. Before Choo, he worked at Burberry, Stella McCartney and Christian Dior.
Andrew Lawley, who stepped into the role of executive chairman at Hunter earlier this week, will oversee the launch of the business strategic review with Porta. Lawley had been acting as chief restructuring officer to support Hunter in its refinancing. He was formerly a senior private equity investor and, more recently, had served as group strategy and integration director at Dixons Carphone plc.
Following the recapitalization of the business, Hunter will undertake a strategic review “to best position it for long-term sustainable and profitable growth. The review will cover all aspects of the business and, in particular, the huge opportunity for the global e-commerce platform.”
Porta said that with a recently strengthened balance sheet “and support of our shareholders, the board and senior leadership team look forward to driving Hunter’s successful multi-geography, multichannel offering forward.”
Wauters joined Hunter in 2016, having previously served as president at the Canadian premium outdoor brand Arc’teryx.
Hunter praised Wauters for having led the development of a broader product range, building a highly experienced international team and driving revenue growth in new geographic markets, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
Under his tenure, Hunter accrued 1 million social media followers and made strides with online commerce. Hunter’s e-commerce business now generates about 30 percent of global sales.
As reported, the recapitalization was led by an existing shareholder, Pall Mall Legacy, and supported by Searchlight Capital, Pentland and other minority shareholders. Earlier this month Hunter said its existing lender Wells Fargo will “augment and extend existing financing arrangements” for a further three years.