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Wolford appoints CCO as CEO exits

Translated by
Barbara Santamaria
Published
today Oct 29, 2019
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Austrian hosiery company Wolford has announced that its chief executive officer, Axel Dreher has resigned from his role and will leave the company on 31 October “on the most amicable terms”. Silvia Azzali has been appointed as a new member of the management board.


CEO Axel Dreher is leaving Wolford - Wolford


Dreher joined the company as COO/CFO in 2013, before being named as chief executive in 2017. The supervisory board thanked him for his contribution and longstanding commitment to the business.

Meanwhile, Silvia Azzali, currently global sales and merchandising director, has been promoted to the role of chief commercial officer (CCO). She will join the management board and assume responsibility for sales and merchandising, marketing and design on 1 November.

Azzali brings more than 20 years of experience in the fashion retail sector, having worked for many high-profile brands including Moschino, Ermano Scervino and La Perla. And she is not a stranger to the hosiery brand: between 2011 and 2016 she was head of international wholesale at Wolford. 

Most recently, Azzali held the role of head of global retail and franchising at Moschino, and returned to Wolford in January 2019 as head of international sales. Since then, she has centralised Wolford’s sales activities alongside Axel Dreher and set up a new international sales and merchandising organisation.

“Silvia Azzali has longstanding global experience in the luxury segment and is a proven expert for the sales and marketing of premium brands. She has had an in-depth knowledge of Wolford for many years, understands the brand and made a significant contribution towards developing the new sales organisation,” said Jenny Shao, chair of the supervisory board. “With Silvia Azzali and Andrew Thorndike, we are ensuring continuity in the management while giving fresh impetus to the company.”

The management board will continue to operate with just two members until a new CEO has been appointed.

The second member of the management team is Andrew Thorndike, who joined Wolford in September 2019 as chief operations officer (COO). He will remain in his role, overseeing the brand’s product development, supply chain management, finance and accounting, controlling, legal, investor relations, IT and HR activities.

Wolford’s chief financial officer (CFO), Brigitte Kurz, resigned in September.

In the year ended April 2019, the Austrian manufacturer of high-end of tights and lingerie reported sales of 137.22 million euros, down 8% on the previous year. But the company narrowed Ebit losses slightly to 8.98 million euros, and management expects to return to profitability, at least in terms of operating profit, in the 2020/21 financial year.

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