PEI CFO to Depart; Two Shoe Licenses Signed

by MR Magazine Staff

NEW YORK – George Pita has resigned as chief financial officer of Perry Ellis International, effective June 18.

Thomas D’Ambrosio, senior vice president and corporate controller of the Miami-based company, will become CFO on an interim basis pending the appointment of a permanent successor.

Pita, who joined PEI in 2002, became interim CFO in November 2004 and was named permanent CFO the following month. The company said Pita is leaving to pursue other interests but information on his plans wasn’t available.

The company also signed two footwear licenses for U.S. design, manufacturing and distribution with ACI International Inc., one covering the Perry Ellis and Perry Ellis Portfolio brands and the other the Original Penguin by Munsingwear label.

ACI said that Kirk Weisenburger will head the Perry Ellis footwear division as president while Dave Frazier will supervise Original Penguin in the same capacity. Weisenburger has been vice president of sales for ACI for the past three years following 11 years with Stride Rite, most recently as VP of sales. Frazier previously was VP of sales and marketing for Lacoste Footwear and earlier spent ten years with Ralph Lauren Footwear.

Original Penguin footwear will launch with selected accounts in the fall, followed by a more extensive launch in spring 2008. Penguin’s apparel distribution includes Nordstrom, Barney’s and Urban Outfitters. The brand was re-launched as a fashion label for “independent, free-spirit young professionals” in 2002.

The Perry Ellis brands will debut during the August markets with a full roll-out expected by spring 2008.