Sutherland was chief executive at the Co-op for less than 12 months, quitting earlier this year after calling the troubled group “ungovernable”. He has been executive director at SuperGroup for the past two years.
Sutherland started his career in marketing at Coca Cola before taking on further marketing and retail management roles at Mars Confectionary, Matalan, Currys and Superdrug. He later joined Kingfisher, working his way up to group chief operating officer.
At Superdry, Sutherland takes over from current boss Julian Dunkerton who will assume a newly-created role as “founder and product and brand director. He will be responsible for brand building and developing the product ranges.
Oriel Retail analyst Jonathan Pritchard said the decision would free up Dunkerton to focus on his core strengths on the brand and creative side while giving Superdry a leader with almost 20 years experience in retail. However he questioned Sutherland’s ability to run a global enterprise, adding that someone with more international experience would have been preferable.
Analysts expect SuperGroup to post negative like-for-likes at its second quarter results, due to be announced on 6 November. Pritchard says SuperGroup is “especially exposed” to the warm autumn weather and predicts a sales drop of 2 per cent. He also raises concerns about the crucial Christmas shopping period given SuperGroup’s unwillingness to discount stock.