Former Burberry figure joins Gymshark as CTO

Posted on May 20, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox

John Douglas, Gymshark

Fitness community and apparel brand Gymshark has announced that John Douglas is to become its new Chief Technology Officer.  

It comes hot on the heels of Danielle Petesic joining as Chief Product Officer. 

Douglas joins Gymshark after four years as CTO at Tory Burch LLC where he was responsible for all aspects of technology including large Enterprise and Digital Transformations.  

Before this, he was CTO at MCM Fashion Group based in Hong Kong and prior to this spent nine years with Angela Ahrendts as CTO at Burberry.  

During his time there he was instrumental in driving the brand’s digital experiences and directing multiple SAP transformations – a key component of one of the most renowned brand turnarounds of the 21st Century. 

At Gymshark, he will be responsible for laying the foundations of the Enterprise and Digital architecture to enable Gymshark’s continued rapid, international growth.  

Douglas has also made the move from New York and will oversee a fast-growing technology team at Gymshark HQ in Solihull in the Midlands. 

Founded by Ben Francis in 2012 when he was just 19, the company now functions in over 180 countries, has an audience of over 16 million on social media, employs over 700 people and turned over $380 million in 2020.  

In August 2020, it became just the second British company to achieve unicorn status – a valuation of over $1 billion – without previous support from external investors. 

“As soon I started talking to Ben and Steve, it was evident they saw the key role that tech will play in the next chapter of Gymshark’s story,” said Douglas.  

“It’s no secret that Gymshark is expanding incredibly quickly, so is going to need the Enterprise and Digital foundations in place to be able to both cope and scale with this.  

“The energy, passion and desire that oozes from this brand is extraordinary. When you combine that with the emphasis these guys place on tech, it’s fair to say I’m beyond excited to get started.” 

Steve Hewitt, Chief Executive Officer at Gymshark, said: “We talk about Gymshark as a tech company just as much as we do as a retail company. It’s a brand born out of tech, so we are as obsessed about building our credentials in this sector as we are in building our conditioning community.  

“Not only will investment here mean we are offering a world class proposition to all our customers around the globe but will also go a long way to ensuring we keep and evolve the culture we are so proud of at Gymshark 

“John’s record for digital transformation at Tory Burch, MCM and not least Burberry speaks for itself. We’ve landed one of the best CTOs, not just in retail, but in all business and I can’t wait to see what he brings to our leadership team as we continue our strong growth.” 

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