NA-KD appoints Anders Kristiansen as a new CEO. Founder Jarno Vanhatapio will lead product and brand, and stay as board member.
Stockholm, January 19th 2022: NA-KD´s founder and CEO Jarno Vanhatapio declared in spring 2021 that NA-KD was searching for a new CEO. Today the company announces that the industry veteran Anders Kristiansen will become the company’s new CEO starting March 1, 2022. Vanhatapio will stay onboard to work with product, brand and innovation. He will also stay as a board member as the third largest shareholder.
NA-KD is one of the world's fastest growing fashion brands with net sales in excess of $250m its sixth full year of operations (2021). NA-KD has invested heavily in sustainability initiatives and has quickly become one of the leading fashion brands on ESG related questions. Despite COVID and logistical disruptions caused by it, NA-KD has almost doubled its sales since 2019, while improving the bottomline results. The growth is partly driven by a successful app launch with 1,5 million downloads in six months. NA-KD is known for its design collaborations with leading profiles and its strong presence on social media – in particular Instagram, with over three million followers.
Anders Kristiansen, from Denmark, has been recruited for the CEO position at NA-KD. Most recently he held the position of CEO at Esprit where he turned around the brand’s development after a decade of challenges. Anders has extensive industry and international experience from roles such as CEO of New Look, Vice President of Bestseller Fashion Group in China which oversees brands such as Jack & Jones, ONLY and Vero Moda; China Manager at Staples and Asia Manager at Lyreco. Now his mission is to lead NA-KD's growth journey. Kristiansen will be based at NA-KD's head office in Gothenburg, Sweden and will take up the new position on March 1, 2022.
NA-KD's founder Jarno Vanhatapio is handing over the role of CEO but will continue in the company as a Strategic Advisor in his role as a Board member.
“The board and I have been looking for a new CEO to lead NA-KD's next phase of global expansion. In Anders we have found that person. He has the right entrepreneurial energy and knowledge to continue our growth story. He is an internationally established name and his track record in our industry speaks for itself. I look forward to supporting him on the strategic work around innovation and assortment as he leads the company. This is a massive recruitment and a step change for NA-KD. I couldn't be more excited,” says Jarno Vanhatapio, founder of NA-KD.
The new CEO Anders Kristiansen comments:
“In just a short time, NA-KD has made an impressive journey and built up a fashion empire in the European market. With my previous experience, I am very much looking forward to expanding to more continents and continuing to establish the company as the leading player when it comes to sustainable fashion,” says Anders Kristiansen, new CEO of NA-KD.
Comment from NA-KD chairman Magnus Emilson:
“Since Jarno announced to the board that he wanted to step down to focus on product and innovation we have been in a wide global search for a replacement. With strong, global industry experience from large fashion companies and long experience of working towards the Asian market, we have found in Anders the perfect match to lead NA-KD’s sustainable fashion business to the 1b$ revenue mark. We are also pleased that the company's founder will continue in the company in a more strategic role. NA-KD's future looks bright,” says Magnus Emilson, Chairman of the Board of NA-KD.
One of NA-KD's largest investors, Northzone, is pleased with the announcement of Anders Kristiansen as the new CEO.
“We became investors in NA-KD in 2017 and have followed their journey in becoming one of the fastest-growing fashion brands in the world. NA-KD is reinventing sustainable fashion for Generation Z and Millennials, and is collaborating with leading influencers and working closely with its customers through its own social media presence. A journey that we believe will continue to new markets under the leadership of Anders Kristiansen who has had impressive results in the previous positions he has held,” says Jessica Schultz, General Partner at Northzone and board member of NA-KD.
Julia Alqvist, Public Relations Manager at NA-KD
NA-KD was launched in January 2016 with a goal of delivering the latest trends at an affordable price
and not at the cost of nature. NA-KD has quickly established itself as one of the leading aspirational
and more sustainable fashion players for Millennials and Gen Z across the globe. NA-KD had in 2021
over 200 million visits and has 3.3 million followers in social media - making it one of the fastest
growing brands in the world in the last six years. NA-KD delivers the latest trends globally to more
than 100 countries every month and is represented by over 1000 retailers worldwide. The largest
shareholders are: Partech, Northzone, Jarno Vanhatapio and eEquity