Start-Rite Shoes appoints CEO

Start-Rite Shoes, children’s footwear specialist, announces the appointment of Hugo Adams to the role of CEO.

Previously CEO of organic children’s clothing brand, Frugi, where he drove dramatic sales and EBITDA growth.  Adams brings a wealth of knowledge from a variety of FTSE100 organisations and departmental functions. Having held leadership positions in six market leading companies, including as ‘Chief of Staff’ to Marc Bolland at Marks & Spencer and Executive Board Director at Superdry, Adams excels at driving business growth through digital and wholesale channels and international expansion. His broad industry experience spans retail, clothing, cosmetics, consumer durables and FMCG.

The recruitment process was led by Nicola Wensley, Director at Page Executive.

Adams takes the reins on 19th April from Kate Tansley who is stepping into a non-executive position due to health reasons.  Tansley commented: “We received an incredibly high calibre of candidates for the role and put great emphasis on finding someone who would understand the purpose at the heart of the Start-Rite brand and the strong heritage in which it is built upon. We consider Hugo as a great fit for our culture.” 

Chairman, Peter Lamble added, “Start-Rite has been through significant change over the last few years and Kate steered us through the pandemic so that we emerge stronger, bolder and ambitious for the future. We look forward to welcoming Hugo and the inspirational leadership and fresh thinking that he will bring to the business.”

Adams commented: “Coming from a purpose–led business, I understand the values that are important to consumers and parents today. I feel privileged at being entrusted with driving forward this established British family brand to a digitally sophisticated consumer and feel motivated to deliver insight and business strategy to secure its success for many years to come.”

Adams comes to the role as the brand launches fresh retail partnerships with JoJo Maman Bébé and Fenwicks; product innovations with its first true vegan school shoe collection; an energised brand appeal; and an active online parent support hub, Feet are Fantastic. 

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