The German ready-to-wear group has announced that Mark Langer will leave the company’s board of directors on September 30, 2020. Uncertainty remains as to the reasons for his departure, announced in the midst of a global health crisis.
Hugo Boss announced yesterday, Monday, March 23, that it separates from its managing director Mark Langer on September 30, by mutual agreement between him and the group. According to the company’s statements, no successor has been found to date, but the supervisory board said that it will start the search “immediately“.
However, the German high-end clothing company specified that in view of the current challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Mark Langer will continue to play a consulting role after September 30 and will thus assist the group until the end of the year: “Due to the current difficulties caused by the corona pandemic, Mark Langer will continue to be available to the company as an advisor and support after September 30, 2020 and until the end of the year“, Hugo Boss stated in a press release.
The company also wished to publicly thank him for his many years of work at the head of the Board of Directors of Hugo Boss AG, both as CFO since 2010 and as CEO since 2016: “During his term as CEO, Mark Langer successfully restructured and repositioned the company“, said Michel Perraudin, Chairman of the Supervisory Board. “The focus on the two brands BOSS and HUGO as well as the significant progress made in the online commerce, the company’s retail network and the Asian business are proof of this. In doing so, he has paved the way for sustainable growth. I would like to thank Mark Langer for his work and wish him all the best for his professional future.”
Mark Langer, who has been loyal to the company for almost two decades, also thanked the group: “I am grateful to have spent almost 18 years with Hugo Boss, during which I had the opportunity to serve the company in different functions“, he said. “Given the passion and commitment of its approximately 15,000 employees worldwide, I am convinced that Hugo Boss will emerge even stronger from the current difficult situation and continue its successful development.”
Even if the reasons for this departure remain unclear, we can see it as a consequence of the severe economic difficulties experienced by the German company recently – especially since Mark Langer had himself succeeded former boss Claus-Dietrich Lahrs in 2016, shortly after the company announced a lowering of its financial targets.
Economic difficulties linked to the global coronavirus pandemic, which forced the brand to close many stores but also to reduce prices in its online retail selling due to a drop in demand. And structural difficulties as well, due to the fact that, in 2020, the trend in men’s fashion is increasingly casual, thus deeply upsetting the brand, for whom suits have been the trademark for almost a century.
Analyses by Baader Bank have even revealed that the Hugo Boss group should expect a 20 percent drop in turnover for the whole of 2020, a decrease in its EBIT (206.4 million euros compared to 348 million euros the previous year) and a fall in its share price from 45.00 to 19.00 euros.
These downgrading forecasts are not without raising growing concerns for the German firm.
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Featured Photo: HUGO BOSS Corporate / Twitter