Kathmandu (ASX:KMD) appoints surfing division boss as CEO

Company News

by Michael Luu

Adventure and travel clothing supplier Kathmandu (ASX:KMD) has found a new chief executive within its own ranks, after an extensive international search for a new captain.

The $1 billion outdoor fashion retailer has officially appointed the boss of its surfing brand Rip Curl, Michael Daly to be the group’s new CEO.

The decision came at the conclusion of a one-month search for a replacement of former chief executive Xavier Simonet, who departed Kathmandu for to take the helm at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission in April.

Mr Daly’s eight years of experience as the CEO of Rip Curl and nineteen years of commitment to Kathmandu’s surf wear subsidiary made him the strongest contender for the role.

Kathmandu’s chairman David Kirk described the new CEO as having “a relentless focus on brand, product, people and the bottom line”, as the board is “confident he will bring the same focus and energy to the wider Group.”

His selection was a testament to the significance Kathmandu attaches to Rip Curl in the company’s growth strategy.

Kathmandu acquired the surfing sportswear manufacturer for $350 million in 2019. Since then the company has grown to be an integral driver of profit growth for the parent company, almost doubling earnings in the first half of the fiscal year.

Mr. Daly reflected on the appointment, “This is an exciting next step for me. The Group has a portfolio of outstanding brands in Kathmandu, Rip Curl and Oboz and I am looking forward to leading three great teams as we work together to grow and develop the Group”.

Shares in Kathmandu (ASX:KMD) last traded at $1.49