Neiman Marcus Names Ralph Lauren’s Exec Geoffroy van Raemdonck Chief Executive
DALLAS, TEXAS — Struggling American luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group Ltd on Friday (January 5) named Ralph Lauren Corp executive Geoffroy van Raemdonck its new chief executive, succeeding Karen Katz.
Katz will retire on February 12, and will remain on the board of directors.
Van Raemdonck joins Neiman Marcus from luxury apparel manufacturer Ralph Lauren, where he was group president for Europe, Middle East and Africa and head of travel retail.
He also worked at French luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton from 2008 to 2013 and Victoria’s Secret owner L Brands Inc.
Chairman of the Board David Kaplan said: “As CEO, Karen helped establish Neiman Marcus as a digital leader in luxury fashion and retail and put the Company on a path for long -term growth. We are extremely grateful for her vision and significant contributions, which have spanned over 30 years at the Company, including the last seven as CEO, and look forward to continuing our work together on the Board.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Geoffroy to Neiman Marcus and look forward to extending the Company’s positive momentum under his leadership,” Kaplan added. “He is a global industry leader and business builder with exceptional vision and energy . The entire board is confident that Geoffroy’s leadership will add significant value to the Company, our partners and our customers.”
The move to replace Katz comes as the up-market chain continues to struggle with a nearly $5 billion debt load mainly due to its leveraged buyout in 2013, when Ares and Canadian public pension fund CPPIB acquired it from other private equity firms.
Like other retail chains, Neiman Marcus is struggling to reinvent itself as customers increasingly prefer online shopping to brick-and-mortar retail.
Same-store sales rose for the first time in two years in its latest quarter, as efforts by Katz to invest heavily in its online business paid off.
Katz will be eligible to receive nearly $2.5 million as a lump sum following her retirement as CEO and another $1 million before March 14, 2019, Neiman Marcus said in a regulatory filing.
Van Raemdonck starts his new position next month.
Photos Credit: Via Neiman Marcus