* Theo Karpathios, CEO wholesale and international, resigns
* Karpathios owns 14.8 pct stake in business
* Leaves with 300,000 pounds payoff
* Shares down 2.7 pct
LONDON, Aug 14 SuperGroup, owner of the
Superdry fashion brand, was dealt another blow on Tuesday when
the co-founder of the business, Theo Karpathios, abruptly quit
"to take on new challenges".
Shares in the firm, whose celebrity fans include David
Beckham, Pippa Middleton, Ed Sheeran and Tulisa Contostavlos,
fell 2.7 percent after it said Karpathios had tendered his
resignation and will step down from the board immediately.
SuperGroup was one of 2010's most successful stock market
flotations. After listing at 500 pence its shares rocketed to a
high of 1,899 pence in early 2011. But three profit warnings and
a series of mistakes, including stock shortages and arithmetical
errors in accounting have led to a dramatic reverse.
A spokeswoman for SuperGroup denied Karpathios had rowed
with Chief Executive Julian Dunkerton and said he left on good
terms and with his contractual entitlement of a year's basic
salary of 300,000 pounds ($471,100).
Karpathios, who owns a 14.8 percent stake, had been with the
business since 2005 and held the position of chief executive
officer, wholesale and international.
"As a co-founder of the business I will always take a close
interest in SuperGroup and I look forward to its continued
growth and success," he said.
Analysts said they took this statement to mean that
Karpathios would hold onto his stake.
SuperGroup said a process to find his successor was
In the meantime Luc Clement, who heads up European business
development, Greg Roberts, head of international business
development and Andy Humphreys, head of UK wholesale, will
report directly to Dunkerton.
Dunkerton has attributed the firm's problems to growing
pains in the glare of the stockmarket. But he said last month
the April appointments of Susanne Given as chief operating
officer and Shaun Wills as chief financial officer had reduced
his workload, enabling him to focus on product ranges.
Shares in the firm were down 11.75 pence at 427.6
pence at 0927 GMT, valuing the business at about 349 million
pounds ($548 million).