by Stephen Garner

Kenneth Cole ProductionsFollowing the sale of certain North American business to Differential Brands Group for $1.2 billion, Global Brands Group has announced that Bruce Philip Rockowitz, an executive director, has stepped down as the chief executive officer of the company and has been re-designated as a non-executive director and remains as the vice chairman of the company.

In his place, Richard Nixon Darling, has been appointed as an executive director and chief executive officer of the company to lead the company’s remaining businesses.

Darling was previously executive director of LF Americas, overseeing Li & Fung Limited’s wholesale and distribution business in the U.S. He serves on the Board of Directors for the American Apparel & Footwear Association and Delivering Good and Executive Committee of Li & Fung Foundation. He is also a member of the Parsons Board of Governors and an Advisor to The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety formed by North America’s major global retailers and, The Accord on Fire & Building Safety in Bangladesh formed by major European retailers and brands.

“The completion of this transaction enables us to realize value for businesses that we have grown to more mature levels and at the same time focusing on areas that we have significant growth potential with improved operational efficiency and reduced working capital needs,” said William Fung, chairman of Global Brands Group Holding Limited. “It also gives us the ability to strengthen our balance sheet, and to improve value to our shareholders.”

“Coming out of this deal, we now have a very strong balance sheet and robust cash flow,” added Darling. “I’m excited to take on a leadership role in this new era of Global Brands and look forward to working with our senior leadership team to continue to accelerate growth and deliver additional value to our customers, business partners and shareholders.”

In 2001, Rockowitz joined Li & Fung Limited as executive director until June 2014, and he was the president of the Li & Fung Group from 2004 to 2011, and group president and chief executive officer of the Li & Fung Group from 2011 to June 2014. In 1981, he joined Colby International Limited, and was the chief executive officer until 2000, when Colby was acquired by the Li & Fung Group. He was the co-founder of the Pure Group, a lifestyle, fitness and yoga group operating in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and mainland China. He has been an independent non-executive director of Wynn Macau, Limited since 2009.

Global Brands Group Holding Limited is one of the world’s leading branded fashion accessories, footwear, and apparel companies. The company designs, develops, markets, and sells products under a diverse array of owned and licensed brands, such as Calvin Klein, Juicy Couture, Frye, Spyder, Kenneth Cole, Reiss, Sean John, AllSaints, Jones New York and many more.