Setola Leaving Oxford

by MR Magazine Staff

NEW YORK – Michael J. Setola has resigned as president of Oxford Industries after a three-year stay.

In a brief statement released late Wednesday, Setola said that, “for personal and professional reasons, I have decided to pursue alternative opportunities. The management team I am leaving behind is one of the best in the industry and I am confident they have a bright future in front of them.”

Setola has agreed to stay with Oxford until Jan. 31. The heads of Oxford’s three men’s units – Ben Sherman, Lanier Clothes and Oxford Apparel – will report directly to J. Hicks Lanier, chairman and chief executive of Oxford. Tony Margolis, CEO of the Tommy Bahama Group, will continue to report to Lanier, as he has since Oxford’s acquisition of Bahama in 2003.

Oxford didn’t say whether a successor as president would be named or sought, and officials at the firm were unavailable Wednesday evening.

In the statement, Lanier called Setola “a talented and energetic executive who has made significant contributions to the company during the last three years. We will miss his insights and appreciate his tireless efforts on the company’s behalf. We wish Michael the best in his future endeavors.”

Oxford is based in Atlanta, although Setola has made his offices in New York since signing on with the company in November 2003. He was not a member of Oxford’s board, on which Lanier and Margolis are the only inside directors.

Prior to joining Oxford, Setola had served as chairman and CEO of Salant Corp., whose assets were sold to Perry Ellis International.

During his tenure at Oxford, Setola was largely held as being responsible for the acquisitions of Ben Sherman and Arnold Brant, as well as the establishment of a number of lifestyle brand extensions, such as Orvis.

In its first-quarter financial report, released on Oct. 4, Oxford acknowledged softness in its tailored clothing business and a planned sales decline at Ben Sherman, both of which contributed to a decline in operating income in its men’s division.