Clarks has appointed Giorgio Presca, an experienced Italian manager who ran Geox between 2012 and 2016, as its new chief executive. Presca is taking over from Stella David, who had been named interim CEO to replace temporarily Mike Shearwood, the previous chief executive, who resigned in June 2018 amid an internal probe into complaints about his conduct. Shearwood had served as CEO of Clarks since 2016. After a transition phase, David will return to her previous role as non-executive director.
At Clarks, which has gone through some rough times lately, Presca will be in charge of all the operational, financial and commercial aspects of the business, reporting to the company's chairman, Tim O'Neill. As previously reported (Shoe Intelligence – Vol. 20 n° 21+22 of Nov. 27, 2018), Clarks booked a net loss of £25.1 million (€28.4m-$32.3m) for the first half its latest financial year, ended on Aug. 4, on 1.8 percent lower revenues of £676.3 million (€764.6m-$869.3m).
By our estimates, Clarks is the world's second-largest brand of casual shoes after Skechers, with a market share of 8.6 percent in 2017. Geox, whose performance improved to some extent under Presca's management, ranks in eighth place with a market share of 4.9 percent. In 2017, Geox had to pay a severance fee of €4.3 million for Presca's rather abrupt departure. Regarded as a strong marketer, he served at the Italian company as marketing and product manager for 15 months before he was made CEO in September 2012. He was well liked by his staff.
Born 55 years ago in Trieste, Italy, Presca has more than 20 years of experience in managing premium brands, especially in the footwear and apparel sectors. Most recently, he served until last September as CEO of Golden Goose Deluxe, the fast-growing Italian brand of distressed-looking sneakers. He then ran briefly Emilio Pucci on an interim basis. Before his tenure at Geox, he held senior leadership roles at the former Benetton Sportsystem, Lotto, Levi Strauss & Co., Diesel, VF Corp.'s Jeanswear International division and Citizens of Humanity.