Neil Fiske Joins Eddie Bauer as CEO

by MR Magazine Staff

NEW YORK – Neil Fiske has resigned as chief executive officer of Limited Brands’ Bath and Body Works unit to join Eddie Bauer Holdings as president and CEO, effective July 9.

Fiske succeeds Howard Gross, a director of EBH, who had served as CEO on an interim basis after Fabian Mansson resigned as president, CEO and a director in February following the rejection by the company’s shareholders of Bauer’s takeover by a private equity group.

Gross remains a director of EBH, which is based in Redmond, Wash.

Concurrently, Limited Brands promoted Diane Neal to CEO of Bath and Body Works, succeeding Fiske. She had been chief operations officer of the unit and was earlier president of Gap’s outlet division. Also, Limited Brands named Bill May chief operating officer of its Victoria’s Secret brand. May resigned last month as COO of Payless ShoeSource after just a month on the job. He was previously COO of Tween Brands and earlier worked at Gap.

William End, chairman of Eddie Bauer, called Fiske “the ideal candidate for Eddie Bauer at this stage of its evolution, with his knowledge of the retail industry and experience in transforming brands and building management teams. We feel fortunate to have someone of Neil’s caliber and vision to lead the company.”

Fiske was CEO of Bath and Body Works during a four-year period marked by strong improvements in its sales and profits, as well as the launch of e-commerce and catalog efforts.

Prior to joining Limited, Fiske spent 14 years with Boston Consulting Group.

“I am excited to join Eddie Bauer, a company with a rich legacy and a distinctive heritage as an active outdoor lifestyle brand,” Fiske said. “I look forward to building on the momentum of the company has achieved in its turnaround efforts. There is enormous potential for Eddie Bauer, and I look forward to helping maximize the company’s opportunities and creating sustainable long-term growth.”

Spencer Stuart led the search for EBH’s CEO.

Eddie Bauer markets casual sportswear and accessories through 367 stores in North America, catalogs and online at