J.Crew names former Victoria’s Secret boss as new CEO
Struggling NewYork-based fashion retailer J.Crew Group, Inc. announced on Tuesday that it has appointed former Victoria’s Secret executive Jan Singer as its new CEO.
Effective February 2, 2020, Singer’s appointment will see her assume responsibility for all aspects of the J.Crew and J.Crew Factory brands. She will also join the company’s board of directors.
Singer, who resigned from her position as CEO of Victoria’s Secret in November 2018, after two years at the embattled L Brands-owned lingerie brand’s helm, brings more than 25 years of experience to her new role at J.Crew.
As CEO of Victoria’s Secret, Singer was responsible for leading the company’s $4 billion intimates business and its network of 1,000 stores and digital platforms. She worked to improve the brand’s performance by introducing innovations in its core categories, while also relaunching its sleep business and introducing exclusive collaborations.
Prior to her tenure at Victoria’s Secret, Singer was CEO at Spanx, from 2014 to 2016, having previously spent more than 10 years at Nike, serving first as corporate VP for global footwear, then as corporate VP for global apparel.
During her time at Nike, she oversaw the successful launch of products including the Nike Flyknit and the Nike Free, as well as innovations such as Nike Seamless, Nike AeroLoft and Nike Tech Fleece.
In a release, Chad Leat, J.Crew Group director and chairman of the board of directors, praised Singer’s skill and experience in driving growth and modernization at omnichannel brands.
“Over the past year, we have made great progress restoring profitability at the J.Crew brand, while further optimizing our operations, thereby establishing a strong foundation for long-term growth,” he said. “Jan's passion for our brand, focused vision of our potential and deep understanding of the modern consumer will be invaluable in rebuilding the strategic positioning and prestige of our iconic brand and company.”
In her new role, Singer succeeds Michael J. Nicholson, who stepped in as the company’s interim CEO in April 2019. Nicholson himself succeeded a four-exec team which took the reins at J.Crew following the shock exit of Jim Brett in November 2018 after only 17 months as CEO.
Nicholson will now return to his previous role as president and chief operating officer of J.Crew Group.
As plans for a spin-off and IPO for the group’s Madewell brand continue to take shape, however, Libby Waddle will remain in her role as president and CEO of the denim label, and will report separately to the company’s board of directors.
In the third quarter ended November 2, 2019, J.Crew Group Overall reported total revenues of $625.6 million, up 1% from the prior-year period, while the company’s net loss widened significantly to $19.9 million.
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