Coach CEO to step down in 2014; to be succeeded by head of international ops
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.
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CEO of The Limited stepping down; retailer names interim management team
Columbus, Ohio — The Limited has established an interim “Office of the President” to manage the day-to-day operations of the business while it searches for a new CEO. The retailer said that its chief executive, Linda Heasley, who joined in 2007, is stepping down to pursue other interests effective Feb. 15.
The interim office will be filled by three current executives, John Buell, EVP and CFO; Nicolas Frechette, SVP and general merchandise manager; and William Acevedo, SVP of stores; who will report to the board of directors.
The Limited has launched a nationwide search for a new chief executive to succeed Heasley.
"The board is very grateful to Linda and the management team for the passion and commitment they have demonstrated at The Limited," said T. Scott King, chairman of the board of The Limited. "The company has made major strides during Linda’s tenure, and we wish her the very best in her future endeavors."
Report: Founder of Best Buy may give up on takeover bid
New York — Richard Schulze, founder of Best Buy Co., may abandon a buyout bid and instead line up investors to take a minority position in the electronics retailer, Reuters reported.
Schulze informed the Best Buy board in August that he was interested in partnering with private equity partners to buy the struggling consumer electronics company. But he has been unable to get enough support from banks to finance a deal that would allow him to take it private, the report said.
"We believe the equity raise required for this deal would be a major challenge for Mr. Schulze given the potential size of the deal and the structural challenges facing the company," RBC Capital Markets analyst Scot Ciccarelli said in the Reuters report. "With that in mind, it doesn’t come as a surprise to us that Mr. Schulze is considering alternatives to his original plan."
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