Kate Spade CEO Anna Bakst To Depart as Tapestry Exec Changes Continue

Three months after Tapestry Inc. made a buzzed-about CEO change, the company has announced another major executive departure.

The New York-based firm said today that veteran footwear executive Anna Bakst — CEO of Kate Spade — will leave the company at the end of the year.

The brand, which Tapestry acquired in 2017, has been challenged for several quarters, so it’s not surprising that Chairman and CEO Jide Zeitlin made the move. Zeitlin took the CEO reins at Tapestry in September following Victor Luis’ departure.

The company is now embarking on a search for Bakst’s successor. During the interim, Tapestry CFO Joanne Crevoiserat will have oversight of Kate Spade’s strategy and operations, working closely with the brand’s senior leadership team.

“We thank Anna for the passion and commitment she has brought to her work at Kate Spade,” said Zeitlin in a statement. “We are moving ahead quickly with a search process. Our strong Kate Spade leadership team, working with Joanne, will take the business forward, aligned with Nicola Glass’s creative vision. Quarter-to-date, Kate Spade’s performance is on track and we are confident in our ability to meet our holiday season goals. We look forward to providing details about our second quarter results during our upcoming earnings call in February.”

Anna Bakst Nicola Glass New York
Anna Bakst (L) and Nicola Glass at the brand’s showroom in New York last year.
CREDIT: Annie Tritt

It’s clear that Zeitlin is determined to get things back on track at Tapestry, and he’s not wasting any time. “At the end of the day, we need to deliver. We need to create shareholder value,” he told FN in September.

At that time, he said Kate Spade had the opportunity to grow the business in North America and internationally. “There’s real opportunity to make sure we have product that addresses a greater breadth of product demands, whether that’s additional color, profiles or price points,” he said. “[It’s about] making sure we have more product available for the needs of our customer. Similarly, we think there’s an opportunity to further differentiate our [wares] in the outlet business. Internationally, we should be able to turbocharge our ability to grow by leveraging the knowledge, experience and infrastructure we built out in the Coach business.”

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