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End. names Parker Gundersen as new chief executive

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Jun 22, 2022

Business

Image: End, Facebook

British luxury, streetwear and sportswear retailer End have named Parker Gundersen as its new chief executive, succeeding co-founders Christiaan Ashworth and John Parker, who are stepping down.

The move follows last year’s majority investment in End by global investment firm Carlyle to support the “next phase” of the company’s evolution and that Ashworth and Parker would “remain in key positions” on the board of directors.

Gundersen has more than 20 years of multinational leadership experience spanning retail, luxury goods, e-commerce and strategy consulting, and was formerly president of retail operations at LVMH’s travel retail subsidiary DFS Group and had also been chief executive at e-tailer Zalora.

In a statement, End co-founders Ashworth and Parker, said: “End has continued to advance its strategic growth plans since the investment by Carlyle. In the last year, we have substantially increased our capabilities in digital and marketing, opened a new flagship store in Newcastle, built out our senior leadership team, launched our womenswear platform and continued to develop our unique relationship with brands and customers alike.

“We feel the time is right to transition fully to the board and support the next generation of leaders in continuing to develop the End brand, curation, community and platform on a global stage.”

End co-founders Christiaan Ashworth and John Parker step down as work begins on the “next phase” of growth

As part of the transition, Ashworth has been nominated to the role of vice chairman and will work closely with chairman Patrizio di Marco, who joined the company in 2021. The company added that both Ashworth and Parker will “play active roles on the board and support the team in realising key strategic growth initiatives”.

Gundersen has been appointed to the End board of directors with immediate effect and “will transition fully into the CEO role later in the summer”.

Commenting on appointing Gundersen, Ashworth and Parker, added: “Parker’s unique background in international luxury retail as well as his expertise in both offline and online channels, makes him particularly well-suited for this position.

“He appreciates the unique relationships we have with our brand partners and community as well as the critical importance of service and experience across the customer journey to strengthen customer engagement. We’re very excited to have Parker joining the team.”

Massimiliano Caraffa, managing director leading consumer and retail for the Carlyle Europe Partners advisory team, said: “The retail landscape continues to evolve rapidly and Parker’s leadership expertise, background in the luxury goods market, and experience growing online and offline businesses is the perfect fit for End’s next phase of growth.”

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Parker Gundersen