New Structure, CFO at Liz Claiborne

by MR Magazine Staff

NEW YORK – Liz Claiborne late Wednesday unveiled a new organizational structure that splits the company between “direct” and “partnered” brands and eliminates its previous group president structure.

The new structure doesn’t include Karen Murray, recently group president of international alliances and licensing, or Pamela Thomas-Graham, who’d assumed responsibility for menswear from Murray as president of better and moderate apparel. Claiborne said that the company was talking to Thomas-Graham about “the possibility of other opportunities within the organization” but made no mention of Murray.

Claiborne also said it had hired Andrew Warren as its new chief financial officer.

While further details of its new organization and the strategy it’s designed to support will be discussed at an Investor Day on July 11, the company said that its direct brands – Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and Sigrid Olsen – and its outlet and e-commerce operations will be overseen by Jill Granoff as executive vice president of direct brands, reporting to William McComb, chief executive officer. Granoff was most recently group president of direct-to-consumer operations.

The company said it would shortly announce its top management for Kate Spade, which will report directly to McComb.

Trudy Sullivan, president of the company, will head up the partnered brands division, entailing global oversight of Liz Claiborne/Claiborne/Monet and moderate department store brands; C&C California, Dana Buchman, Ellen Tracy, Enyce, Laundry by Design, Mac & Jac/Kensie and Prana; JC Penney, Kohl’s and Sears; DKNY Jeans and DKNY Active; and cosmetics and fragrances. Sullivan will continue to report to McComb.

Although not discussed in Liz Claiborne’s release on the reorganization, published reports indicate that Murray and Susan Davidson, formerly group president of non-apparel categories and since February in charge of the Kate Spade business, will leave the company.

Referring to the reorganization, McComb said in a statement, “This is a crucial step in remaking Liz Claiborne Inc into a more brand-focused and cost-effective business that can successfully navigate a rapidly changing retail environment. Accordingly, this new organizational structure puts ‘brand’ at the center of all we do, enabling a more consistent, focused approach to brand strategy for all of the names in our portfolio.”

Sullivan noted that the two groups “have different growth prospects, capital requirements and cultural profiles. Our retail-based Direct Brands division will benefit from enhanced retail infrastructure and capabilities, while our wholesale-based Partnered Brands division will be better positioned to meet the needs of specific customers.

“While there are clearly overlapping channel dynamics, we want to manage these businesses as two distinct divisions and report on their performance with a set of metrics that is more appropriate to these different business models.”

Warren, who becomes CFO 9 July, has spent 18 years with General Electric, most recently as senior operations leader of GE Audit Staff. He’d earlier served as executive vice president and CFO for NBC Universal Television Group. He reports to McComb and, as CFO, succeeds Michael Scarpa, who was named chief operating officer in February.

Also reporting to McComb are: Lawrence McClure, senior VP of human resources; Tim Gunn, chief creative officer; and Roberta Karp, who was named senior VP of business development and legal/corporate affairs. Nicholas Rubino, promoted to VP, general counsel and corporate secretary from VP, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary, reports to Karp.

Reporting to Sullivan are: Lilach Asofsky, VP, marketing; Benedetta Casamento, president, Liz Claiborne, Monet and moderate department store brands; Jeff Fardell, CEO, Mexx Europe; Karen Greenberg, president, JC Penney, Kohl’s and Sears brands; Aru Kulkarni, chief customer officer, partnered brands; Walter LaMothe, CEO, Liz Claiborne Canada; Kevin Monogue, president, DKNY Jeans and DKNY Active; Lori O’Rourke, VP of planning and research; Art Spiro, president of cosmetics and fragrances; Janice Sullivan, president, Narciso Rodriguez; and Mark Walsh, president of Portfolio Brands (C&C California, Dana Buchman, Ellen Tracy, Enyce, Laundry by Design, Mac & Jac/Kensie and Prana).

Reporting to Granoff are: Beth Cohn, VP and general manager, Juicy Couture Retail; Barry Landau, VP of planning and allocation; Brad Lenz, VP, international/SIS store design and construction; Andrew McLean, president, outlet; Trent Merrill, senior VP, real estate and construction; Liz Munoz, president, Lucky Brand Jeans; Suzanne Norris, VP, e-commerce; and Barry Zelman, president, Sigrid Olsen.

Once appointed, the president of Juicy Couture will report to Granoff as well.