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Seafolly names new CEO after bouncing back from voluntary administration

Brendan Santamaria

After a turbulent year, swimwear retailer Seafolly has appointed a new CEO to join its team as it bounces back from voluntary administration and gets back on its trajectory to grow globally.

Brendan Santamaria, former CEO of Designworks, was named the company’s new chief executive with the aim to fix, reset and grow the brand and pave the way to recovery amid the challenging Covid-19 retail landscape.

In his new role, Santamaria is also expected to tap into the brand’s local and international growth potential.

“I am excited to be joining the team at such a pivotal moment for the brand and the global retail environment,” Santamaria said.

He said now is the time to shake things up at Seafolly, adding that he sees a real opportunity for the company to emerge post-voluntary administration as one of the world’s most iconic swimwear and beach lifestyle brands.

“To date, the brand has established and nurtured a global loyal customer following especially here in Australia. Our goal is to grow this customer base further and set the brand back on its trajectory to global success, together with our partners,” Santamaria said.

An established Australian business leader, Santamaria has over 15 years of CEO experience in the branded consumer goods industry, leading global brands such as Everlast, Lonsdale and Disney.

“Brendan’s appointment comes as Seafolly embarks onto a new chapter in its journey to further grow and elevate the brand that has been leading the Australian swimwear market for the past four decades,” said Ondrej Ruzicka, L Catterton ANZ head.

Ruzicka said Santamaria’s leadership and retail experience will be a huge asset to the company as it moves into the next phase of retail post Covid-19

The 45-year-old Australian swimwear brand, which has 27 stores in Australia and four in Singapore, was rescued last July from collapse by its previous owner American-owned equity L Catterton.

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