DIANE Savory, chief operating officer of SuperGroup, quit the fashion retailer suddenly yesterday in a move that surprised analysts and investors.
Savory (pictured) has worked at the clothing group, which owns retail brands Superdry and Cult, for more than 20 years and played a crucial role in preparing the company for its £120m flotation last year.
She announced her resignation yesterday citing personal reasons and sources close to the firm would only add that she wants to spend more time with her family. She will leave on 6 May.
However, analysts said Savory’s decision to leave the business would not “massively impact” the company’s rapid growth.
James Dilks-Hopper, retail analyst at Numis, said: “Savory’s departure is a loss, but Supergroup has obviously been building up its team steadily so it has the people in place to step in and take over her role.”
Supergroup intends to fill the chief operating officer vacancy over time, but in the short term Savory’s duties will be shared between head of property Nigel Jobson, head of legal Romney Gray and head of HR Sue Baldwin, who were all hired in the last 12 months.
Five of the group’s management own 65 per cent of the company’s shares, with the remaining equity held by external investors including US firm Capital Research, Legal & General, AXA and Standard Life.
Top 10 shareholders were not informed of Savory’s imminent departure prior to yesterday’s shock announcement to the markets.