Euan Sutherland swaps fast fashion for grey pound as new boss of Saga

Former Superdry boss Euan Sutherland is swapping fast fashion for a slower pace of life after being appointed chief executive of over-50s favourite Saga.

The serial executive, who also ran Co-op, will start the position in the new year, taking over from Lance Batchelor, who quit earlier this year.

Mr Sutherland said: “I am hugely excited to join Saga. This is a unique British brand that has a strong heritage, great people and significant potential.

“I look forward to working with the board and the whole of the Saga team to further unlock this potential and deliver for our customers and shareholders.”

Euan Sutherland
Euan Sutherland

He will face a difficult time at Saga as he attempts to turn around a business which suffered a profit warning in April.

Bosses at the time blamed a tough insurance market – with customers shopping around for better deals – and also struggled in its holiday business as bookings dried up across the sector due to uncertainty over Brexit.

But Mr Sutherland will be hoping to avoid any of the boardroom battles that led him and other board members to quit Superdry after founder Julian Dunkerton won the right to return to the company.

The fight saw Mr Dunkerton accuse Mr Sutherland of failing the business and making poor management decisions with regard to stock allocation and store layout.

However, there could be some uneasy moments at Saga, after activist investor Elliott Advisors bought a 5% stake in a potential attempt to force a break-up of the business to release more cash for investors – although the group has not made its intentions clear.

Prior to Superdry, Mr Sutherland walked out of his Co-op role after just 10 months, calling the mutual business “ungovernable”, as he attempted to turn around the company.

However, Saga praised his time at the Co-op on Wednesday, saying “he led a significant transformation programme resulting in a more efficient and profitable business”.