Australian fashion accessories retailer Oroton has seen its group CEO Mark Newman resign abruptly yesterday, following a 52% fall in the company’s first half-year profits, with the founder’s grandson now stepping into the role.
The Lane family have taken back the reigns of Oroton Group after the immediate resignation its chief executive Mark Newman, who after four years in the position, resigned abruptly yesterday.
Ross Lane, grandson of the Group’s founder, has stepped into the role as interim CEO, while the company scout out a long term solution. The news comes just weeks after Oroton reported a steep decline in sales and net profit.
In the six months to 28th January, Oroton’s net profit plummeted 52 percent, to $1.8 million, which also saw an 11 percent drop is sales as well, compared with the same period last year. The company’s minority shareholders are said to have been worried about the health of the brand, wanting to gain shareholder control to take the business in an alternate direction.
Oroton commented that the shift away from women’s apparel, shoes and lingerie, as well as declining sales at its factory outlets and its GAP brand sales falling at seven of its stores, were partly to blame.
The Group has not offered any comment on the reasons for Newman’s sudden departure, however chairman John Schmoll thanked him for his work with the company and his loyalty. “On behalf of the board and the entire Oroton Group, I would like to thank him for his loyal service and for leading Oroton Group as it began its transformational change journey and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
The former vice president of Ralph Lauren Australia and New Zealand, Newman was initially appointed as CEO and managing director of Oroton Group in 2013. Interim CEO of the Group, Ross Lane, has intimate knowledge of Oroton as a previous director, executive and majority shareholder, as well as his broad retail experience and active participation with a number of retail businesses.