Fifth & Pacific to Change Name, CEO

In What's New, Industry News by Jeff Prine

Cedar Street Stripe from Kate Spade spring collection

Cedar Street Stripe from Kate Spade spring collection

New York—More changes are afoot at Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc., formerly Liz Claiborne Inc. and parent now only to Kate Spade after jettisoning Lucky Brand and Juicy Couture.

On Thursday, the company noted that since is it a single brand entity now, its name would once again change—this time to Kate Spade & Co. (Symbol “KATE” on the New York Stock Exchange) beginning in February.

Now Kate Spade & Co.

The other big news out of Fifth & Pacific was that CEO William McComb will be stepping down in favor of Craig Leavitt, who now serves as chief executive at Kate Spade.

McComb, who has been chief executive since 2006, oversaw sweeping changes in the company, including selling the Liz Claiborne brand in 2012 and Juicy Couture last year and the pending sale of Lucky Brand.

In other changes, George Carrara, executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer will become president and chief operating officer of Kate Spade. Deborah Lloyd, chief creative officer of Kate Spade, will remain in her role.

As a result of the management changes, the company expects to incur non-cash severance charges of $16 million and cash severance charges of $7 million related to the management changes.

Fifth & Pacific also reported preliminary fourth quarter sales figures including a 30% increase at its direct sales for Kate Spade and 5% for Lucky Brand. But the company had given a weak forecast for the year: revenue between $1.32 billion to $1.33 billion. Analysts’ average estimate expects $1.77 billion.

As for 2014, the company forecast revenue to increase 10% to 13% over 2013.


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