- Six-year Burberry alum Julie Brown will step down from her role as both CFO and chief operating officer for the British retailer at the close of the company’s financial year on April 1, 2023, the company announced in a Friday press release.
- Brown is leaving Burberry to take on the position of CFO at drugmaker GSK. The search for her successor at Burberry is “underway and further updates will be announced in due course,” the company said.
- “Julie has played a key role in positioning Burberry for growth, supported by a high-quality team,” recently appointed Burberry CEO Jonathan Akeroyd said in a statement included in the release. “I would like to personally thank her for the support she has provided me since I joined six months ago. I look forward to building on the strong foundations we have in place to realize Burberry's full potential."
Prior to joining the luxury brand, Brown served as CFO for medical technology firm Smith & Nephew for a four-year period ending January 2017. A 25-year alum of biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, Brown served as an interim CFO, as well as holding other key executive roles during her tenure.
Brown is the latest Burberry veteran to depart its C-Suite, following the luxury retailer’s previous CEO Marco Gobbetti, who stepped down from the role effective Dec. 31, 2021.
The company named executive Jonathan Akeroyd as Gobbetti’s successor in an Oct. 20, 2021, announcement, citing an effective start date of April 1, 2022. Before jumping to Burberry, Akeroyd had acted as CEO of Gianni Versace SpA since 2016, according to the firm’s October 2021 announcement.
Gobbetti, now CEO of Italian luxury company Salvatore Ferragamo, was a driving force behind the firm’s multi-year plan to further elevate Burberry into a more upmarket luxury brand, according to a June 2021 article by The New York Times.
During his five years at the company’s helm, he oversaw large-scale shifts at the retailer including bumping up prices, expanding into key markets such as China and hiring Givenchy alum Riccardo Tisci as Burberry’s chief creative officer.
Akeroyd — faced with continuing to nudge up sales — noted he was “impressed with the progress made to date” by the company during his first earnings call with the retailer.
Burberry has led “the industry in luxury’s transition to net zero and supporting communities in need,” he said during the firm’s preliminary 2022 financial results call which took place May 18, according to a transcript by Seeking Alpha.
“As CEO, I fully intend to build on these strong foundations as we focus on accelerating growth,” he said.
The company reported 2.8 billion pounds ($3.1 billion at the time of publication) in full-year revenue for the 2022 financial year, a 23% increase year-over-year, according to its earnings results.
Burberry declined to comment past the statements included in its press release.