Perry Ellis International Shifts Leadership

by Harry Sheff

4_PowerPlayers:Layout 1.qxdPerry Ellis International has made some shifts in its executive structure, with George Feldenkreis passing on his CEO title to his son, president and COO Oscar Feldenkreis, and retaining the chair position when his contract expires in January 2016. The company also appointed board member Jane DeFlorio as lead independent director and nominated Oscar Feldenkreis, Bruce J. Klatsky and Michael W. Rayden to the board.

The moves are in part an effort to appease some activist investors who have been pushing for a sale of the company.

“I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished over the past half century, particularly the value that we have created for all our stakeholders,” said George Feldenkreis in a statement. “We have grown from being a small importer of guayaberas and children’s wear in 1967 to being a leading international designer and distributor of globally recognized apparel brands. For the past two years, we have worked very hard to return the company to a more profitable path. Given the success of our strategic initiatives, the significant improvements in our financial performance and outlook that we discussed in our recent earnings call, our stock price appreciating approximately 87% over the past twelve months and currently trading at its highest level in four years, and the groundwork being laid for us to have one of the strongest boards in the apparel industry following our 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, now is the right time for us to put a formal succession plan in place to ensure a smooth leadership transition.”

Jane DeFlorio has been a board member since December 2014. She will succeed Joseph P. Lacher, who has been lead director since 2006, upon the 2015 annual meeting. DeFlorio is a former Managing Director in the U.S. Retail and Consumer Group at Deutsche Bank Securities.

Bruce Klatsky is a former chairman and CEO of Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation and Michael Rayden is a former president and CEO of Tween Brands. They would take the board seats of Joe Arriola and Lacher.