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.