Neiman Marcus got a new CEO for Christmas

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Neiman Marcus got a new CEO for Christmas

By Gina Acosta - 01/05/2018

Neiman Marcus is bringing in a luxury retail veteran to lead its transformation into a bigger omnichannel retail player.

Geoffroy van Raemdonck, an executive with luxury retail experience, has been named CEO of the Neiman Marcus Group. The company announced that Karen Katz will retire from the role of President and Chief Executive Officer on Feb. 12. Katz will continue to serve on the company’s Board of Directors.

Katz's retirement comes at a crucial time for the department store, which has been working to restructure its roughly $4.4 billion in long-term debt and adjust to the rapidly changing retail landscape.

“As CEO, Karen helped establish Neiman Marcus as a digital leader in luxury fashion and retail and put the company on a path for long-term growth. We are extremely grateful for her vision and significant contributions, which have spanned over 30 years at the Company, including the last seven as CEO, and look forward to continuing our work together on the Board,” said David Kaplan, Chairman of the Board. “We are thrilled to welcome Geoffroy to Neiman Marcus and look forward to extending the Company’s positive momentum under his leadership. He is a global industry leader and business builder with exceptional vision and energy. The entire board is confident that Geoffroy’s leadership will add significant value to the Company, our partners and our customers.”

Katz introduced Neiman Marcus to new customers and deepened relationships with the company’s core shopper, while establishing Neiman Marcus as the leader in luxury online retail. She led the implementation of the company’s Digital First strategy, which continues to drive growth.

Currently, the company’s online business represents more than 30% of total revenues. Most recently, investments made in new technologies and marketing tools drove a marked improvement in the first fiscal quarter of 2018, with comparable sales rising for the first time in more than two years.

“It has been a unique privilege serving as CEO, and I am proud of the substantial progress and success our team has achieved,” Katz said. “Geoffroy has an impressive track record of success at luxury brands, and he is the right person to lead the Company through this next phase of growth.”

Prior to Neiman Marcus, van Raemdonck served as Group President for EMEA and Global Travel Retail at Ralph Lauren, where he led the transformation of all Ralph Lauren brands across full and off-price stores, wholesale and digital. His accomplishments include delivering strong double-digit profit growth over multiple years, expanding gross margin and increasing distribution quality.

Previously, van Raemdonck served as CEO at St. John Knits International, Inc., where he launched a turnaround of the American luxury house leading to significant performance improvements. Prior to that, he held a variety of global leadership roles at Louis Vuitton from 2008 to 2013.