My name is Jacob Bjerregaard.
I left school with 15 after business college and started my career with an apprenticeship in a high-end men’s wear retailer in Copenhagen. My experience widened with 4 years as a salesman for the Scandinavian agent of Corneliani and John Smedley.
In 1995 I entered the Hugo Boss organization and worked my way up becoming Managing Director in 2000 with the responsibility of EUR 60m and 200 employees. By living in and running the regional market organizations in Hong Kong/Asia, Russia/Eastern Europe and Miami/Mexico City/Sao Paolo/Latin America I gathered experience in the most important geographical regions - enlarged my horizon and literally became a "citizen of the world". I learned the importance of brand building and distribution power as well as to master crisis (Asia 1997, Russia 1998/1999, Argentina 2001, USA 2007/2008). Over great years in a great company filled with accomplishments my responsibilities grew geographical as well as organizational.
After 15 successful years within Hugo Boss, I was offered the position of Executive Vice President International Sales & Trade Marketing of ESCADA in Munich. Under my P&L responsibility were all national and international market/sales units with a turnover of EUR 320m and approx. 1.250 employees with 90% share of business outside home-market Germany. In 2009 driven by the Lehmann crisis, Escada went through insolvency - during this financially challenging period, I contributed to the transformation by keeping all 20 sales entities afloat without losing market image.
Major initiatives covered substantial EBITDA and cash improvements (EUR 24m) through efficiency optimization, core Retail KPI improvement and the creation of an outlet network including production. The process of going through insolvency proved to be valuable in terms of learning the importance of lean efficient structures and cash management. Escada successfully left insolvency end of 2009 with the take-over by the Mittal family. Escada 2009 - 2013 is an impressive turnaround example.
From 2013 until 2016 I was part of the value creation process of Basler Fashion as member of the board and CSO. I redefined the design process, implemented the brand management function and therewith sharpened the positioning to the defined target group. Driving the sales-organization the declining home market was stabilized (+2%) in a declining environment and the international business was expanded through strategic cooperation’s with some of the absolute best/biggest retailers/players. It was particularly satisfying to successfully combine "old" knowledge with "new" spirit and to penetrate with a rather 'dusty' brand an impressive number of defined target reference retailers. The ownership of Basler changed in 2015; the new owner brought a new management board, hence the complete existing board exited.
Since 2016 I am accompanying companies and investors in the fashion and lifestyle industry as an independent advisor - sharing my experience and utilizing my international network.
Besides, I am Danish, born 1972. I am happily married to Sandra and proud father of Anton (born 2011) and Mila (born 2014). Without getting too philosophical, I am happy where I am in life.