Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Dr Martens appoints former Apple senior director as CEO; amid bleak earnings

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Dr Martens Plc named Ije Nwokorie as its new chief executive officer as shares plunged in early London trading after the UK bootmaker lowered its outlook for fiscal 2025.

The London-based company, known for its distinctive thick-soled boots, warned that revenue will probably fall at a single-digit percentage rate this year. In a worst case scenario, it could see pretax profit drop to just one-third of the fiscal 2024 level, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Nwokorie, its newly crowned brand head and a former senior director at Apple Inc., will succeed Kenny Wilson after the current year ends in March 2025, the company said in a separate statement.

The leadership change comes as Dr Martens grapples with sliding sales in the US, its biggest market.

“The whole organization is focused on our action plan to reignite boots demand, particularly in the US,” said Wilson, at the helm since 2018. The group is “laser-focused on driving cost efficiencies where possible,” he said.

Dr Martens had already cut its guidance for 2024 and 2025 in November as a result of weaker sales in the US, where cash-strapped shoppers have turned away from its chunky boots.

The shares have fallen more than 80% since its 2021 initial public offering, and are almost 90% off an all-time high reached in February that year. The stock traded down 30% at 66.45 pence as of 8:28 a.m. London time.

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