Iconix Taps John Haugh For CEO Post

After its founder and CEO Neil Cole made an abrupt exit in August 2015, Iconix Brand Group Inc. is ready to fill its c-suite.

The brand management firm—which owns and licenses brands such as Candie’s, Badgley Mischka, Ed Hardy, Peanuts and London Fog — has named former Luxottica S.p.A., Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. and Mars Inc. executive John Haugh its new CEO, effective April 1, 2016. Peter Cuneo, who had stepped in as interim CEO after Cole’s departure, will transition into the role of executive chairman of the Iconix board.

Our board has identified in John a talented and experienced executive who can focus Iconix on accelerating organic growth with our portfolio of brands and on exploring opportunities for new acquisitions,” Cuneo said in a release. “During the past six months, I have worked closely with our management team to diligently review our operations, to focus on refinancing our maturing 2016 convertible notes and to work with the SEC to conclude its comment letter process.  We are well positioned for the next stage of growth under John’s leadership, and when I transition to executive chairman on April 1, my focus will shift to areas of need where I can best help the company.”

The past year has been a tough one for Iconix. Cole’s August departure followed the unexpected exits of the firm’s CFO and COO in March and April. The company has since been embroiled in an accounting investigation and comment letter process with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The comment letter process, which focused on issues with Iconix’s reporting of revenues from several international joint ventures, concluded last week. Musician Pharrell Williams also recently made headlines when he repurchased Iconix’s 50 percent stake in his company BBC Ice Cream LLC.

It is an honor to take on the leadership of Iconix Brand Group.  The company occupies a position of prominence in the industry and holds a tremendous portfolio of iconic brands that account for approximately $13 billion of retail sales globally,” Haugh said in a statement. “I look forward to leading a talented management team committed to our next stage of growth as we work with our retail partners to help them maximize the strength that the Iconix brands can bring to their businesses.”

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