Neiman Marcus Group announced that Karen Katz, the company's president and chief executive officer, will retire Feb. 12. Fashion and retail veteran Geoffroy van Raemdonck will succeed Katz as the company’s CEO. Katz will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors and will work closely with van Raemdonck to facilitate a seamless transition process. The appointment is part of a long-term leadership succession planning process to ensure continued growth and evolution of the company, according to Neiman Marcus.
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.
Total Retail's Take: The news of Katz's departure was leaked yesterday afternoon, but what wasn't known was who would be her replacement. We now know that Neiman Marcus has chosen retail veteran Geoffroy van Raemdonck to help turn around its stagnant business. In Katz, Neiman Marcus is losing a longtime company veteran and retail maven who introduced the company to new customers and deepened relationships with its core shopper. She also established Neiman Marcus as the leader in luxury online retail, leading the implementation of the company’s digital-first strategy, which continues to drive growth. Despite Katz's achievements, she was unable to turn around declining sales.
"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," said David Kaplan, chairman of the board. "We're 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."