Peerless Clothing International has just announced that John Tighe, a much-admired retail exec, will become their first new president in 30 years, officially joining the company on February 26. He succeeds Ronny Wurtzburger, who remains active as chairman of the board of directors. Alvin Segal, chairman and CEO of Peerless, joins Wurtzburger in welcoming Tighe to the team at Peerless, North America’s largest manufacturer and distributor of men’s tailored clothing.
Tighe started his career at May Department Stores and had been at J.C. Penney for the past 15 years, most recently as EVP and chief merchant, with experience in product development and design. “I’m thrilled to be here,” said Tighe, just off the plane from Dallas to meet with the team in New York prior to attending next week’s Las Vegas trade shows. “I’ve actually been working with Peerless since my first job as assistant clothing buyer at Filene’s. From the beginning, I’ve always admired this company: for their unbelievable reputation, for being first with innovative product, for their exceptional back-end execution, for their impressive manufacturing, and of course for their partnerships with the best brands in America (thanks to Ronny’s deal-making skills). With tremendous admiration for all they’ve accomplished, my goals are to keep it all going, build on the successes, and implement new growth opportunities.”
Asked if it’s intimidating to fill the shoes of Wurtzburger, considered our industry’s quintessential salesman, Tighe doesn’t hesitate. “Peerless has a powerful sales team and I’m excited about this opportunity to learn from them, as well as to bring my corporate skills to the table. I don’t think of it as filling Ronny’s shoes, but if I’m lucky, mine could stand next to his.”
Says Wurtzburger, “We don’t need anyone to fill my shoes. Alvin Segal has put together a well-oiled machine at Peerless, with expert leaders in every category and no single person calling all the shots. What John brings to the table is management expertise, the ability to bring out the best in each of our leaders and a strong retailer perspective, which we’ve never had. He’s a true gentleman, and the respectful way he treats people is a perfect fit for Peerless. We look forward to having him on board!”