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Sweaty Betty CEO and COO step down

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Image: Sweaty Betty, Facebook

Sweaty Betty is to bid goodbye to its CEO and COO as the athleisure brand restructures following its takeover in 2021.

The Notting Hill-founded company, which launched in the late 1990s was bought for 300 million pounds by Wolverine Worldwide, an American footwear manufacturer based in Michigan.

The transformation will see chief executive Julia Straus and chief operating officer Mark Smith leave the company, as first reported by Drapers.

A statement said: “Sweaty Betty confirms that after five years at Sweaty Betty, and growing the business threefold, CEO Julia Straus has taken the tough decision to leave the company to enable her to move back to the United States with her husband later this year and raise their daughters closer to family.

“Julia will continue in the role until June, playing a key part in selecting her successor, and will also be actively involved in the handover period beyond that to ensure a seamless transition period.

Top changes at Sweaty Betty following acquisition

The company also announced that COO Mark Smith has decided that this year is the “right time to leave Sweaty Betty to pursue new opportunities”.

The company said: “Mark joined the business in 2011 and has overseen a retail expansion of the brand from 15 stores to 90 plus stores in that time, and a tenfold growth in revenue. Mark will also stay in position over the summer to oversee the interview process for his successor and an extremely smooth transition overall.”

Sweaty Betty was founded as an alternative to Canadian athleisurewear giant Lululemon, and operates 65 stores in the UK. Wolverine, while known primarily as a footwear company, is keen to branch into the athleisure sector after demand for casualwear soared during the pandemic.

In its acquisition statement Brendan Hoffman, president of Wolverine Worldwide, said: “Sweaty Betty's expertise and focus on apparel, female consumers, and best-in-class digital execution has proven to be a winning combination.”

“We are excited to support the brand's continued growth while learning from its digital-first mindset and leveraging that strength across our portfolio.”

A replacement for Ms Straus and Mr Smith has not yet been announced.

Sweaty Betty
Wolverine Worldwide