Former Gap exec fills Children's Place COO spot

SECAUCUS, N.J. — The Children's Place Retail Stores search for someone to oversee its finance and operations appears to have come to an end as the company has announced the appointment of Eric Bauer as COO. He will report to Jane Elfers, president and CEO, and will be responsible for supply chain, planning and allocation, store operations, finance, information technology and real estate.

Bauer most recently spent eight years with Gap Inc., culminating in his appointment as EVP brand operations, COO for Gap North America where he was responsible for finance, store operations, real estate, distribution, logistics, information technology and their Canadian operations. He previously served as SVP and CFO for Banana Republic. Prior to Gap, he held the position of EVP, administration and CFO for Bauer began his career as a credit analyst with Banque Arabe et Internationale D'Investissement and subsequently held positions of increasing responsibility with KPMG Peat Marwick, International Marketing Associates, Pepsico Corporation's Taco Bell Division and Choice Hotels International. 

"Eric brings a wealth of knowledge and proven operational expertise to The Children's Place," commented Elfers. "His international background, coupled with hands-on experience leading finance, planning and allocation, store operations, real estate and information technology will be a tremendous asset. I look forward to partnering with him as we continue to pursue our key growth initiatives."

Children's Place did not say whether or not it would continue to search for a CFO following former EVP finance and administration Susan Riley's departure in February. The company reported then that it would eliminate the position of EVP finance and administration and begin a search for a CFO.

Riley was originally slated to replace then CFO Hiten Patel upon his departure. Then in December 2007 Richard Paradise, SVP finance was named CFO and principal accounting officer, reporting directly to Riley, only to announce his retirement less than a year later. 

The company reported that its fourth-quarter net income fell to $32.1 million in the three months ended Jan. 29, down from $34.1 million year ago. Revenue fell 2% to $453.2 million from $462.8 million in the prior-year period. Same-store sales fell 5.9%.

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