Desa Deri restructure board of directors

16 February 2003

Desa Deri Sanayi ve Ticaret AS have undertaken a restructuring of their board of directors, which will allow the firm to steer a clear path for the future and capitalise on their expanding global presence. Melih Celet remains chairman but has bought up the shares of two, less active, brothers. Celet's son and several other family members have now joined the board. To diversify seamlessly and effect new ventures, a hands-on, articulate corporate team was required. Desa Deri began as a family firm with three brothers who produced handbags and distributed Samsonite luggage in Türkiye. In 2002, they turned out some 300,000 leather garments for Britain's Marks & Spencer, an order value of £60 or £70 million (US$100 million). About half of Desa's turnover now goes to this retailer, with items in eight or nine different departments. As an M&S partner ('please don't call us a 'supplier'), they have turned retailing lessons into supply chain solutions and, from contacts gained in this environment, moved into leather homewares and cut-and-sew leather upholstery for a major European furniture manufacturing group. In April 2003, Leather International will follow up on Desa's corporate restructuring with a feature on their calculated shift to new markets, a new manufacturing unit, higher volumes and a range of leather designs virtually alien to Turkish leather producers.

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