by Stephen Garner

Iconix Brand Group, which owns such brands as Joe Boxer and Mossimo, has announced that Peter Cuneo, the executive chairman of the Board of Directors, will serve as Interim CEO, effective immediately. John Haugh has resigned as chief executive officer, president and a member of the Board to pursue other opportunities, also effective immediately.

The Board has retained an executive search firm to assist with the process to identify a permanent CEO.

Cuneo is a recognized leader in business turnarounds. Since 1983, he has completed seven turnarounds of distressed branded businesses in the global media and consumer products sectors. From 1999 to 2009, Cuneo played a lead role in the turnaround of Marvel Entertainment Inc. As president and CEO, he led Marvel, post-bankruptcy, to a prominent position in the entertainment industry. He then served as vice chairman of the Board, providing active strategic leadership as Marvel continues to grow into one of the world’s leading entertainment brands. This culminated in its $4.4 billion sale to Disney at the end of 2009.

Previously, Cuneo was president and CEO of Remington Products Company. He joined the company as it was near bankruptcy and, in less than four years, executed a successful turnaround of the business and facilitated its sale to private equity investors. He has also served as president of the Security Hardware Group of the Black & Decker Corporation, president of Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Group in Canada and president of the Clairol Personal Care Division. Cuneo is currently the managing principal of Cuneo & Company, LLC, a private investment and management company.

“The Iconix Board regularly evaluates leadership to ensure that we have the right mix of skills and experience in place to drive growth and value creation for all of our stockholders,” said Drew Cohen, lead independent director of the Iconix Board. “Iconix has made steady progress on a range of financial initiatives, including strengthening our balance sheet and addressing near-term debt obligations. As we continue to work diligently to build a platform for sustainable growth that fully capitalizes on the strength of our global brand portfolio, the Board is committed to putting in place a strong leadership team that is able to successfully execute on these goals.”

“We are fortunate to have someone of Peter’s caliber, with an extensive track record of revitalizing leading consumer brands and direct experience leading Iconix as Interim CEO from August 2015 to April 2016, to step in as Interim CEO while we identify a permanent successor,” continued Cohen. “We are grateful to John for his service to Iconix during his years as CEO and for the contributions he has made in positioning the company for the future. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

“I am committed to helping Iconix as Interim CEO at this important time in the company’s history,” added Cuneo. “We are addressing the challenges facing the company head on, and are moving forward with focus and a sense of urgency. I look forward to working closely with the Board and management team as we search for a permanent CEO and best position Iconix to deliver growth and stockholder value creation.”