New York -- Coach Inc. said that its longtime CEO, Lew Frankfort, will step down in January 2014. He will be succeeded by Victor Luis, head of Coach’s international operations, at which point Frankfort will become executive chairman. Coach named Luis president and chief commercial officer in the interim and said he will also join the board.
The appointment was the result of a multiyear succession process in which it considered both internal and external candidates, Coach said. Frankfort's contract was set to expire in July after an extension four years ago, Reuters reported.
“Coach is a great company with exceptional brand and business equities and a strong and seasoned leadership team," said Luis in a statement. "Together with Lew, we will build upon the company's strong foundation, leveraging the global opportunity, while continuing to evolve the Coach brand."
Frankfort, who joined Coach in 1979 and was named CEO in 1995, transformed Coach from a small leather goods handbag maker into a global luxury brand with stores around the globe, including some 500 in the United States.
Coach is coming off a somewhat disappointing holiday season. Most recently, it announced its intent to become a "head-to-toe" lifestyle brand by significantly expanding its offering of shoes and clothing.