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Shuffle Board: Global Brands Group Names New CEO, True Religion Appoints Interim CEO


Global Brands Group

Global Brands Group (GBG) appointed Rick Darling as CEO and executive director, after Bruce Rockowitz stepped down as GBG’s CEO. Rockowitz will continue to serve as non-executive vice chairman of the company.

The move came after GBG completed the sale of select North American assets to Differential Brands Group for $1.2 billion.

Darling was the former president of LF USA, which was the predecessor of Global Brands Group, and most recently served as executive director for LF Americas, Li & Fung Ltd.’s wholesale and distribution business in the U.S.

Centric Brands

Centric Brands named Jason Rabin, former president of Global Brands Group North America, as CEO. Concurrent with the acquisition of significant North American assets of GBG, Differential Brands Group changed its name to Centric Brands Inc., reflecting what the company says is its position as a leading lifestyle brands collective platform.

William Sweedler, managing partner of Tengram Capital Partners, which played a pivotal role in the transaction, will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors. The Centric Brands board will be comprised of independent directors, as well as Rabin and appointees designated by Tengram and GSO Capital Partners.

Guess Inc.

Guess Inc. appointed two new independent directors to its board: Laurie Ann Goldman, former CEO of Spanx Inc., and Deborah Weinswig, founder and CEO of Coresight Research.

The company also reported that Kay Isaacson-Leibowitz has retired as a member of its board of directors in order to focus more of her time on her charitable foundation work. These actions bring the total number of Guess board members to nine and the total number of independent directors to six.

Goldman and Weinswig will serve on the Nominating and Governance Committee of the board, with Goldman also serving as chairperson of that committee.

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Goldman has been a private investor and advisor since 2014. From 2002 to 2014, she served as CEO of Spanx, a women’s undergarment and apparel company.

Weinswig has run Coresight Research, a provider of research and advisory services to brands and investors, since February. From 2014 until February 2018, she served as managing director of Fung Global Retail and Technology, the think tank for the Fung Group.

True Religion

True Religion’s board of directors appointed board member Chelsea A. Grayson as its interim CEO, following John Ermatinger’s decision to retire.

Grayson will step down as chair of the Audit Committee, but will continue to serve on True Religion’s board.

True Religion’s board said it intends to conduct a process to identify a permanent CEO. Before joining the board of True Religion last year, Grayson was CEO and a board member of American Apparel. She also sits on the board of directors of Delta Dental of California and the advisory board of Marca Global.

Prym Group

The Prym Group appointed Brian Moore as CEO of Prym Fashion Worldwide. Moore will also serve as the managing director of Prym Fashion Asia and Americas, and will be based in the company’s offices in Hong Kong.

In his role, Moore will help grow U.S. market penetration, expand Prym Fashion’s geographic footprint and will lead the development of new fastener solutions. Prym Fashion is a provider of fashionable fastening systems and accessories for the apparel and textile industry. The company’s products are used in activewear, jeans, men’s and women’s wear, work apparel, infants’ and children’s clothing, technical textiles and luxury leather items.

Moore has more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience with Unifi, Inc. and Scovill Fasteners, and has spent the past 17 years leading global businesses based in Hong Kong.

Founded in 1530, The Prym Group is the oldest industrial family-owned business in Germany and one of the oldest in the world. The company consists of four divisions– Prym Consumer, Prym Fashion, Prym Intimates and INOVAN. Prym is a supplier of fasteners and accessories with more than 3,600 employees and offices throughout Europe, Asia, America and Africa.


The LVMH board of directors has nominated Sophie Chassat as a director. This appointment is to be confirmed at the company’s next shareholder’s meeting.

Chassat runs her own business and has developed an expertise in corporate philosophy and branding. She has written several essays in this field. Chassat is an alumni of the Ecole Normale Supérieure-Ulm and holds a post-graduate qualification in philosophy.

The company said Chassat’s academic background, skills and experience will enrich the composition of the board as she brings a philosophical insight into societal changes.


New Balance

New Balance Athletics Inc. announced that Rob DeMartini, president and CEO, will step down on Dec. 31, 2018, to be succeeded by Joe Preston, currently chief commercial officer at the Boston-based company.

DeMartini led New Balance for 12 years and oversaw global growth of the athletic brand to $4.2 billion in 2018 from $1.5 billion in 2007. During his tenure, DeMartini championed the brand’s long-standing commitment to owned manufacturing and U.S. production.

Manufactured in the U.S. for over 75 years and representing a limited portion of U.S. sales, New Balance Made U.S. is a premium collection that contains a domestic value of 70 percent or greater. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance had worldwide sales of $4 billion in 2017.


Pentland Brands appointed Katrina Nurse as its new chief finance officer. Nurse joined the business from Selfridges, where she has been finance director for the past four years.

As a member of the Pentland Brands executive team, Nurse will lead the finance teams across the organization.

Pentland owns activewear and footwear brands that include Speedo, Berghaus, Canterbury of New Zealand, Endura, Mitre, Ellesse, Boxfresh, SeaVees, KangaROOS and Red or Dead. It also holds the global licensee for Ted Baker footwear, Karen Millen footwear and Kickers in the U.K., and has a joint venture partnership for Lacoste footwear.

Oboz Footwear

Oboz Footwear, an outdoor footwear company based in Bozeman, Mont., announced that Brian Krezel and Bob Downs have joined its design team. Krezel and Downs will work out of the Oboz headquarters in downtown Bozeman.

Krezel joins the Oboz product team as director of design. He recently held similar positions at Grundens Rainwear and Simms Fishing Products and previously worked as a footwear designer at Converse and Reef.

Downs joins Oboz as a product developer II. Prior to joining Oboz, Downs ran his own product development consulting company, where he worked with such clients as Purple Mattress and VICIS. Before forming his company, Downs worked in product development at Motorfist/Arctic Cat and Black Diamond.


J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney Co. said Michael Fung is temporarily joining the company as interim chief financial officer, succeeding Jerry Murray, who will resume his responsibilities as senior vice president of finance.

Fung is an accomplished executive with over 40 years of broad finance experience, including corporate finance, strategy, financial planning and analysis, across multiple consumer and retail organizations, the company said. He recently served as interim chief financial officer for Neiman Marcus Group and 99 Cents Only Stores following his retirement from Walmart Stores.

Murray had taken responsibility for the post after Jeffrey Davis left as executive vice president and chief financial officer in Oct. 1. The company continues to search for a permanent chief financial officer.



UPS announced a series of executive changes. George Brooks, most recently president of U.S. Operations Engagement & Communications, was appointed president for the Americas Region. Brooks takes over Romaine Seguin’s role, who has accepted a global assignment at UPS Corporate headquarters.

Seguin will be responsible for all UPS package and cargo operations in Canada and more than 50 countries and territories, as well as the UPS Supply Chain Solutions operations throughout Latin America, Miami and the Caribbean.

UPS also appointed Ronald Mayorga as president for Mexico, where he will be responsible for designing strategies that will help better position the company in the country. Mayorga takes over Agustín Picado’s role, who has accepted a special assignment at the company’s corporate headquarters.

Mayorga previously held the role of district operations manager at Red River South, one of the largest districts in the U.S, encompassing UPS’s activities in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. This included responsibility for restoring operations in Houston after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 in nine days.

UPS also named Daryl Tay as president and representative director of UPS Japan, succeeding Masato Umeno, who is now director of customs brokerage for UPS South Asia. Prior to his current appointment, Tay was managing director for UPS Vietnam, based in Ho Chi Minh City.