C&J Clark (Clarks) has decided to part ways with about 170 members of its global staff of 10,000 employees, 80 of them at its head office in Street, Somerset. A spokesperson for the group said the move is being dictated by structural changes being introduced in its business operations to support the brand's strategy under the management of Giorgio Presca, the new chief executive appointed last month.

The changes will not impact the group's distribution center in England or its stores, said the spokesperson. They are being made after Clarks hired McKinsey and Co. as a consultant to help it to assess its options and to fine-tune its transformation. Presca has already outlined some of his future plans, which include a stronger emphasis on branding and a more contemporary approach to the development of new products (Shoe Intelligence Vol. 21 N° 19+20 of Oct. 20, 2019).

The transformation of Clarks' business model is being accompanied by further changes in the top management. Its chief financial officer, Paul Kenyon, who had been appointed in June 2017, is leaving to join another company, Independent Vetcare. He is being replaced on an interim basis by Philip de Klerk, former CEO of Low & Bonar, a British firm involved in the development of performance materials.

Furthermore, Presca, who led Geox between 2012 and 2016, has appointed Marco Pirani to the new position of sales director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Pirani left Geox a couple of months ago. He had been its German country manager, responsible also for sales in the other German-speaking countries and in the rest of Central and Northern Europe, for the last 10 years. He previously worked Artsana Chicco, in charge of Germany and Austria, and for Luxottica, where he led operations in Germany, Belgium and India.

As we previously reported, Presca has reshaped the sales structure of the company, appointing another Italian manager, Massimo Barzaghi, a former “chief markets officer” for Salvatore Ferragamo, as chief commercial officer. Following Barzaghi's appointment, the previous presidents of Clarks for Europe and Asia, Ben Fletcher and Jack Quinlan, left the company and are not going to be replaced. Clarks also reported the retirement of Antony Perillo, chief supply chain officer, after 13 years with the company.

Clarks reported a net loss of £82.9 million (€97.3m-$107.8m) in the latest financial year, ended on Jan. 31. The losses declined to £11 million (€12.9m-$14.3m) in the six months to Aug. 3.