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J. Crew embarks on shakeup of senior team

US fashion retailer J. Crew has embarked on a shakeup of its senior team as it looks to better position the company for sustainable and profitable growth.

FASHION

J. Crew embarks on shakeup of senior team

US fashion retailer J. Crew has embarked on a shakeup of its senior team as it looks to better position the company for sustainable and profitable growth.

Under the changes, Michael Nicholson, president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of J. Crew, will take on additional responsibility for the J. Crew brand which includes the planning and allocation, merchandising, marketing and design functions. He will continue to report to Millard Drexler, J. Crew chairman and chief executive.

In addition, Lisa Greenwald has been named chief merchandising officer of the J. Crew brand and will oversee merchandising across J. Crew women's, men's, and crewcuts, reporting to Nicholson. Having joined J. Crew in 2004, Greenwald most recently served as senior vice president of merchandising for J. Crew’s Madewell brand.

J. Crew has also seen Somsack Sikhounmuong take up the position of chief design officer this month where he oversees the women's, men's and crewcuts' design teams. Also reporting to Nicholson, he was previously head of design for Madewell.

In a final move, Libby Wadle has been named president of the Madewell brand. Having worked with J. Crew since 2004, Wadle was previously president of the J. Crew brand.

Drexler said: "Today's retail environment is changing more rapidly than ever before. Customers demand greater speed to market, convenience and personalised shopping experiences. At J. Crew, we are embracing this change and making necessary adjustments to our business and teams to move us forward in a more efficient and dynamic way."

J. Crew has also announced that it is to initiate a headcount reduction of approximately 150 full-time and 100 open positions, primarily from its corporate headquarters. The company expects to realise approximately $30 million of annualised pre-tax savings in connection with the reduction and will record a charge of approximately $10 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2017 for severance payments and other termination costs.

Drexler added: “We are streamlining our teams as we evolve our business and processes to cater to the new demands of the retail industry. While challenging, we know what needs to be done and this is a critical step to position J. Crew for the future. We are committed to treating impacted associates with respect and support through this period of change."

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