Liz Claiborne Inc. (which is in the process of redubbing itself Fifth and Pacific Companies) announced the appointment of David Bassuk as co-president and COO of Juicy Couture, effective February 27, 2012. In this role, Bassuk will oversee finance, operations, planning and allocation, international, e-commerce, wholesale sales, and operations and facilities while partnering with co-president and chief creative officer LeAnn Nealz on the management and overall leadership of the Juicy Couture brand. Both Bassuk and Nealz will report to William L. McComb, CEO of Liz Claiborne Inc.
Commenting on the announcement, McComb said, “Dave is a retail industry leader with more than 20 years of experience helping retailers and leading apparel and accessories brands. He has been consulting with LeAnn and her team for several months on Juicy Couture’s global operations strategies. With his breadth of experience in hands-on operational management roles for high-end retailers and brands and with his strategic planning, leadership and operations skills, Dave is a welcome addition to the Juicy leadership team. I am also grateful for the relationship we have with AlixPartners. With LeAnn and Dave at the helm, Juicy Couture is primed to regain its position as one of the most sought after global lifestyle brands."
Nealz added, "We have waited a long time to fill this role, looking for a leader with just the right skill sets. Dave and I complement each other perfectly, and we have worked very well together over the past few months. As my business partner, I love that he shares my excitement and enthusiasm for the brand."
Bassuk said, “Having worked inside many businesses throughout my career I have a unique appreciation for today’s competitive landscape, and rarely have I seen the upside potential I see at Juicy Couture. This is a strong brand with a very talented creative director at the lead and a very exciting future ahead. In short, it is the perfect opportunity at the perfect time for me.”
Said Fred Crawford, CEO of AlixPartners LL,: "AlixPartners has been privileged to work with Bill and LeAnn and the great team at the Liz Claiborne organization for some time, and while this development is certainly atypical, it was arrived at with all parties actively involved and will be a win-win as we continue our partnership with the company going forward.”
Bassuk joins Juicy Couture from AlixPartners, where he was the head of the global retail practice, focusing on strategic and operational turnarounds. Prior to that, Bassuk was a member of the management team of Kurt Salmon’s retail practice, responsible for driving growth and profitability for leading global retailers and brands. He was also a member of Kurt Salmon’s board of directors. Bassuk has an MBA in finance and management from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a BS in industrial engineering from Hofstra University.