CEO Victor Luis Exits Tapestry After Company Trims Full-Year Forecast

Tapestry Inc. announced the departure of CEO Victor Luis, whose exit comes less than three weeks after the luxury fashion group trimmed its guidance for the year.

Luis joined Tapestry in 2006 as president and CEO of Coach’s Japan arm, helping build the brand outside of North America. The executive took the top job in 2014, and embarked on a plan to build a house of brands in New York. He led acquisitions of Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade. But it wasn’t an easy road as the industry continued to undergo dramatic transformation.

“I am proud to have led the talented individuals at Tapestry and of the culture rooted in optimism, innovation and inclusivity that we’ve built,” Luis said in a statement. “I am confident in the boundless potential of these teams and brands and very much look forward to following their future success.”

Taking over the CEO post is chairman of the board Jide Zeitlin, who has served for more than a decade on Tapestry’s board. He has been chairman since November 2014 — and has more than 30 years of global financial and operational experience. (Board member Susan Kropf has also been named lead independent director.)

“I have profound belief in Tapestry’s people and culture, as well as our ability to enhance returns for all stakeholders,” Zeitlin said. “Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman have powerful and differentiated positioning, strong consumer connections and attractive growth potential. Together with a talented management team that combines long-tenured executives with new leaders who bring fresh perspectives, we will act with urgency to drive sustainable organic growth.”

In its fourth-quarter earnings report, the New York-based company posted profits of $175 million, or adjusted earnings of 61 cents per diluted share, which met analysts’ expectations. Revenues, however, missed forecasts of $1.53 billion — inching up 2% to $1.51 billion.

Investors expressed worries over progress at Kate Spade, which is in midst of an intensive overhaul under creative director Nicola Glass’ new vision. The brand — which Tapestry acquired two years ago — noted weak traffic, a heightened level of promotions in outlets and lackluster demand compared to last year’s performance.

“While there have been some green shoots, we clearly need more time to drive an inflection to positive comps, especially given the brand’s exposure to the competitive and traffic-challenged North America market,” Luis said at the time.

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