Wolford CEO steps down
Signs of stabilization or continuing woes for the Austrian hosiery company?
Effective July 31, Ashish Sensarma, CEO of Wolford AG since January 2015, will step down from his position on the management board. Deputy chief executive officer Axel Dreher will assume responsibility for strategy, marketing and sales starting August 1, the company announced in a statement following a board meeting on Wednesday.
Sensarma was appointed to the position in December 2014. The Austrian brand known for its upscale bodysuits and stockings has already been struggling to stay in the black for years, with 2017 being no exception.
For its third quarter ending in March, Wolford reported an 8 percent drop in sales, which will likely force it to end the year with an operating loss. The publicly-traded company has postponed the reporting of its full year results from July 14 to August 24, which could possibly be related to an announcement in June that the main shareholders of Wolford were looking to sell an undefined majority stake in the company.
Besides this management reshuffle, the company also recently lost its creative director Grit Seymore, who stepped down from her post in May citing personal reasons. Seymore’s position was created in October 2014 as part of a wider strategy to reposition the brand for future development.
In the board meeting on Wednesday, Brigitte Kurz was also appointed to the management board effective from 1 August 2017. Kurz was previously in charge of the company's finance department and will now assume responsibilities from Alex Dreher as CFO as well as for HR, IT, Legal and Investor Relations. Axel Dreher will continue to act as COO and also be in charge of business development, production and logistics.
A statement about the board's decision said that Ashish Sensarma would remain with Wolford in an advisory capacity in the coming months with regards to investor relations. The board praised Sensarma for his initiatives in restructuring the company, especially in the areas of international sales organization and eCommerce.
"The operational implementation now requires a very integrated approach along the entire value chain, which we want to ensure by bundling the relevant tasks in the hands of Axel Dreher”, said Dr. Antonella Mei-Pochtler, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Wolford AG.
She went on to welcome Brigitte Kurz into the supervisory board as the entity’s first female board member. “Since joining the company close to two years ago, [Kurz] has made a substantial contribution to the professionalization of the Finance Department, demonstrating her extensive competence and determination,” said Mei-Pochtler.
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