J. Crew Triggers Cuts and Management Shifts – WWD



Turnaround efforts at J. Crew Group Inc. are intensifying.

J. Crew Group said Tuesday it has reorganized and streamlined its top management team and is eliminating 150 full-time jobs and 100 open positions, primarily from its corporate headquarters, to save approximately $30 million annually.

The company will record a charge of about $10 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2017 for severance payments and other termination costs.

Among those who have exited the company in this round is longtime men’s designer Frank Muytjens, who has been leading the men’s category since Todd Snyder left the company in 2008.

The reorganization of senior-level management is geared to streamline operations and help the company respond faster to changing consumer demands and market conditions and reverse recent disappointing results.

An eventual successor to J. Crew Group’s 72-year-old chairman and chief executive officer Millard “Mickey” Drexler is being sought. However, a source close to the company said the senior management changes announced Tuesday don’t reflect a succession plan and that Drexler remains entrenched and very engaged in fixing the business.

In the management streamlining, the corporation’s president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer Michael J. Nicholson has been given additional responsibilities for the J. Crew brand, including the planning and allocation, merchandising, marketing and design functions. Nicholson joined J. Crew in 2016 and has been instrumental in directing J. Crew’s strategic evolution. He will continue to report to Drexler.

Lisa Greenwald has been named chief merchandising officer of J. Crew’s women’s and men’s collections and crewcuts, the kids’ collection. Most recently, Greenwald was senior vice president of merchandising for Madewell, a division of J. Crew Group. Greenwald will report to Nicholson. She joined J. Crew in 2004 and has held various positions of increasing responsibility in the J. Crew and Madewell merchandising organizations.

In addition, Libby Wadle has been named president of the Madewell brand. Wadle was president of the J. Crew brand. She will continue to report to Drexler. Wadle  joined the company in 2004 and has held senior management roles in different areas of the business, including J. Crew Factory and Madewell.

Earlier in April, J. Crew veteran Jenna Lyons left the company as president and creative director. The role will not be filled, though Lyons continues in a consulting capacity. She worked at J. Crew for 26 years and was involved in design, visuals and brand aesthetics.

“J. Crew is now doing things differently, moving faster than before,” said the source.

With Lyons leaving, Somsack Sikhounmuong was named chief design officer, overseeing the women’s, men’s and crewcuts’ design teams. Sikhounmuong now reports to Nicholson.

The company said the men’s wear design will be handled by the company’s in-house team, who…

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