Birkenstock names new Europe MD
Popular German footwear brand Birkenstock has a new managing director for Europe. Nico Bouyakhf will be responsible for the entire region across all sales channels, including consumer.
Although he succeeds Michael Schmitz, who has left the company, destination unknown, his appointment coincides with co-CEO Markus Bensberg also stepping away from the day-to-day operations, leaving Oliver Reichert, to whom Bouyakhf will report, as sole CEO.
Billed as a sales and marketing expert, Bouyakhf arrives from Nike where he was general manager of Sportswear in Central EMEA. His 20-year career spans fashion and sportswear and has seen him hold management positions with global or pan-European responsibility. Earlier in his career he also worked for Converse and Zalando, among others.
His new job will see Bouyakhf primarily taking responsibility for ensuring growth and stronger sales in individual European markets. Key to this will be the increasing digitalisation in those markets.
He also joins when Birkenstock continues to enjoy an increasingly high media profile and remains a constant name on Lyst's quarterly hottest products reports.
His arrival comes soon after Franco-American private equity firm L Catterton acquired a majority stake in Birkenstock in partnership with billionaire Bernard Arnault’s holding company, Financière Agache.
Brothers Christian and Alex Birkenstock, who retain a stake in the company, said at the time: ”For the next 250 years we need partners sharing the same strategic and long-term vision as the Birkenstock family”.
The new co-owners "bring both a deep understanding of the details of a manufacturing business that is all about quality and a respect for brands with a long heritage like ours”, they added.
According to figures from the company, Birkenstock achieved sales of around Є720 million and earnings of around Є130 million in 2019. Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Birkenstock’s 2020 revenue and profit were roughly in line with those of the prior year, we're told.
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