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Tapestry CEO Is Cleaning House and Plotting ‘Data-Driven’ Future

Tapestry Inc.’s CEO Jide Zeitlin will stay on for three more years, but the firm’s last remaining brand CEO when Zeitlin took over is now on his way out.

The company said Zeitlin will stay on as chairman and CEO for three more years to continue to lead the company as Tapestry defines and implements its multi-year growth agenda. Zeitlin, who’s been on Tapestry’s board since 2006 and its chairman since 2014, took over the CEO post in September following the departure of former CEO Victor Luis.

“Since becoming CEO, I have had the opportunity to immerse myself in the company, including leading an in-depth review of the brands and businesses,” Zeitlin said, noting that the review indicated attractive growth opportunities for its Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman brands, “which we will unlock by further leveraging each brand’s differentiated positioning and strong consumer connections, powered by a modern, agile Tapestry platform.”

The company didn’t fully detail its multi-year growth agenda for its brands, but Zeitlin did offer clues as to what lies ahead. “Over the next several years, I will continue to work with our world-class teams to sharpen our focus on execution while driving our evolution to being a truly consumer-centric and data-driven organization, which will ensure we deliver on the full potential of our entire portfolio and enhance returns for all stakeholders,” he said.

Going forward, those plans will not include Coach brand CEO Josh Schulman, who will depart the company after a “transition period,” Tapestry said. Meanwhile, as the company conducts a search for his successor, Zeitlin will assume direct oversight of Coach’s strategy and operations, while working with the Coach brand’s senior leadership team.

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“We thank Josh for his leadership. Looking forward, I am excited to partner with the seasoned and talented management team at Coach, including executive creative director Stuart Vevers, to continue to build on the power of the Coach brand to delight our customers by delivering exceptional products and services,” Zeitlin said.

With the departure of Schulman, Zeitlin has effectively cleaned house and will work with a new CEO brand team to execute his strategic agenda.

The company in February named Giorgio Sarné CEO of its Stuart Weitzman brand, which in turn saw former CEO Eraldo Poletto exiting the company. Sarné was president of Tapestry Asia and president and CEO of Coach Asia.

At the same time of Sarné’s appointment, the company also named Liz Fraser CEO and brand president for Kate Spade. She succeeds Anna Bakst, who left in December.

While the Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade brands had been struggling, either because of supply chain production problems for the former or consumer receptivity for the latter, the Coach brand was the one stalwart that was considered in fairly good shape.

When the company reported second-quarter results in February, sales at the Coach brand rose 2 percent to $1.27 billion, while global comparable store sales also rose 2 percent. The comps increase represented the brand’s ninth consecutive quarter of positive comparable store sales growth, with North American sales leading the global comps gain. That’s compared to sales at Kate Spade, which only rose 0.5 percent while its global comparable sales fell 4 percent, and at Stuart Weitzman, which saw a sales decline of 6.5 percent.