by Stephen Garner
Jide Zeitlin

Tapestry, the owner of Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman, has announced that Jide Zeitlin, the company’s chairman of the board, has been appointed chief executive officer.  Zeitlin succeeds Victor Luis, who is leaving the company and its board of directors. The company also announced that Susan Kropf, a current member of the Tapestry Board, has been named lead independent director. Zeitlin will continue in his role as chairman. All appointments are effective immediately.

With more than 30 years of global financial and operational experience and over a decade of serving on Tapestry’s Board, Zeitlin will actively drive the company’s business performance with the objective of creating long-term sustainable growth. At the appropriate time, Zeitlin, with his board colleagues, will lead a search for a future chief executive officer.

Zeitlin was elected to Tapestry’s board of directors in June 2006 and has served as the chairman of the board since November 2014. He spent the first 20 years of his career at Goldman Sachs, where he held a number of senior management positions, including as a member of Goldman Sachs’s executive office and serving as global chief operating officer of their investment banking businesses.

“On behalf of the board, we thank Victor for the passion and commitment he has shown during his time with the company,” said Zeitlin. “Early in his tenure, he was a critical part of Coach’s development outside of North America, first as president and CEO of Coach Japan and then assuming responsibility for the brand’s entire international organization. Over the past five years, as CEO, Victor was instrumental in the successful transformation of Coach and the establishment of Tapestry as New York’s first house of modern luxury lifestyle brands.”

Luis said, “I am grateful to and inspired by the more than 20,000 people who make up this incredible company. Together we have energized the Coach brand, while creating a unique portfolio with the acquisitions of Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade. I am proud to have led the talented individuals at Tapestry and of the culture rooted in optimism, innovation and inclusivity that we’ve built. I am confident in the boundless potential of these teams and brands and very much look forward to following their future success.”

“The Board remains committed to Tapestry’s multi-brand model, while recognizing the need to sharpen our focus on execution. Given the continued strength and momentum at Coach – the largest brand at Tapestry – our top priority remains driving significantly improved performance at our acquired brands,” said Ms. Kropf. “Having worked alongside Jide for more than 10 years, I know how eminently capable he is of leading Tapestry’s world-class teams at this time. He is highly respected within the organization, and I am confident that Jide will help our teams unlock the potential of our entire portfolio.”

Zeitlin added, “I have profound belief in Tapestry’s people and culture, as well as our ability to enhance returns for all stakeholders. Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman have powerful and differentiated positioning, strong consumer connections and attractive growth potential. Together with a talented management team that combines long-tenured executives with new leaders who bring fresh perspectives, we will act with urgency to drive sustainable organic growth.”

The company is maintaining its Fiscal 2020 financial outlook and continues to expect to return approximately $700 million to shareholders through its dividend and repurchase programs.