Burberry, the renowned British luxury brand famous for its iconic tartan pattern and trench coats, has recently appointed Kate Ferry as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Ferry is set to join the company in late September, succeeding Julie Brown, who will be leaving Burberry on April 1 after six years of service. In the interim, Ian Brimicombe, the current Senior Vice President of Specialist Finance and Projects, will serve as the acting finance chief until Ferry officially assumes her role.
Kate Ferry brings a wealth of experience in business transformation and development within the luxury industry, having previously held the top financial position at luxury car firm McLaren Group. Prior to that, she served as Group CFO for TalkTalk, a telecommunications company, from October 2017 until March 2021. Ferry also currently holds the position of Audit Chair on the Member Board of Trustees for the British Olympic Foundation.
Julie Brown’s departure comes as she pursues an opportunity outside the luxury industry with British drugmaker GSK plc, where she will be part of a rare all-women leadership team. Meanwhile, former Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti has taken up the role of CEO at Italy-based luxury fashion brand Salvatore Ferragamo. Gobbetti played a crucial role in Burberry’s multi-year plan to elevate the brand further into the upmarket luxury segment.
The appointment of Kate Ferry as CFO coincides with another executive change at Burberry, as Jonathan Akeroyd was named CEO, effective April 1, 2022, succeeding Gobbetti. Akeroyd previously served as CEO of Gianni Versace SpA since 2016. Gerry Murphy, Chair of Burberry, expressed confidence in Ferry’s ability to support the ambitious plan announced by Akeroyd last November, aiming to realize Burberry’s potential in Modern British Luxury.
Despite these changes, Burberry reported a modest increase in comparable store sales of only 1% in the third quarter. Sales in mainland China, the brand’s biggest market, fell 23% year-over-year in the quarter ended December 31, 2022. Excluding China, comparable store sales grew by 11%. With the new leadership team in place, Burberry aims to continue its growth and solidify its position as a leading luxury brand.