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PacSun CEO Quietly Steps Down Amid Brand Rebirth

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PacSun

As PacSun emerges from what’s being deemed a very successful turnaround, the company’s CEO has quietly relinquished his post.

Gary Schoenfeld, who led the California lifestyle brand for the last eight years and through its five-month restructuring, has been replaced by former Genesco CFO James Gulmi in the interim while the company searches for a new CEO.

“Now, as a stronger and more competitive company, PacSun is embarking on its next chapter of growth,” the company said in a statement, according to Shop Eat Surf. “Mr. Gulmi is extremely well qualified, bringing extensive knowledge of the specialty retail space and deep financial acumen. We are very pleased that Jim will also be joining the PacSun Board of Directors on a permanent basis.”

PacSun filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2016 and entered into a restructuring support agreement with Golden Gate Capital, which acquired PacSun in September once the restructuring was complete.

Now PacSun has a new lease on retail. The company recently started selling the Brandy Melville branded product in its stores in order to draw another customer and improve the shopping experience. Product at PacSun looks refreshed and on-trend, omnichannel customer experiences have been enhanced and things are only expected to improve from there under new leadership.

New York City-based RCS Real Estate Advisors had a hand in the PacSun reorganization and restructuring too, and handled it so well that the firm will be recognized by The M&A Advisor in its Annual Turnaround Awards for Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year.

In other surf brand news, Quiksilver—which also emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy after filing late in 2015—changed its name on Wednesday as part of the “new phase” in its evolution.

The firm formerly known as Quiksilver, Inc. will now be called Boardriders, Inc.

“The new name embraces the company’s full range of iconic action sports brands—Quiksilver, Roxy, DC Shoes—unified by boardriding culture and heritage,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “It also signals a new phase in the company’s turnaround and the beginning of its pivot from restructuring to growth.”

Boardriders (then Quiksilver) emerged from Chapter 11 in February 2016 and started on a path to “right-size” its cost structure, reengineer its global development engine, streamline distribution and reduce excess inventory.

And so far, so good, according to company managing director and chief turnaround officer Dave Tanner.

“While we will always maintain the discipline of our new ways of running the business, we are excited to begin to turn our focus toward serving our customers and consumers within the boardriding community in new and innovative ways,” he said. “While our industry dynamics continue to be challenging, this is a company that is now prepared to be playing less defense and more offense.”

Firms involved in the Quiksilver reorganization are also up for an award from The M&A Advisor for Restructuring Deal of the Year.

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