SuperGroup co-founder Theo Karpathios resigns

CEO and co-founder Theo Karpathios has resigned from SuperGroup's board with immediate effect, leaving Julian Dunkerton high and Superdry.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 05 Sep 2013
It’s official. Chief executive Karpathios has left SuperGroup. Rumours abound – was there a board level bust-up? But his official line is simply: ‘I move forward to take on new challenges’. Julian Dunkerton too insists the pair are on good terms.

Karpathios launched SuperGroup with Dunkerton back in 2005. Five years later, the company had one of the most successful IPOs of 2010, raising 500p a share. David Beckham, Pippa Middleton, and Zac Efron have all been papped wearing Superdry gear, and the brand's jeans and jackets were a staple in trendy east London clubs throughout the late noughties. But the last few years have not been kind to the Cheltenham-based firm. Three profit warnings, a stock shortage, and one costly ‘arithmetic mistake’ later, and Karpathios is walking.

He takes with him a £300,000 pay off – his contractual base salary entitlement, no more, no less - and a 14.8% shareholding. So it’s not surprising he’s still keen for the business to do well without him: ‘I will always take a close interest in SuperGroup and I look forward to its continued growth and success,’ he says.

He’d better hope for a turnaround fast, then. Investors are already getting fidgety – last month the company announced a 15% drop in annual profit to £42.8m. Shares in SuperGroup dropped a further 3%, to 425.3p after his resignation was announced.

Why is the man responsible for Superdry’s international expansion leaving right now, when domestic demand is low, and Asian exports – a sweet spot for Superdry - could be the firm’s salvation? Answers on a postcard, please.

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