4 Things to Know About Sequential’s New CEO, David Conn

Sequential Brands Group, Inc. has a new chief executive.

The New York-based company, which is the parent of Jessica Simpson Collection, Heelys and DVS, among other fashion labels, today announced the appointment of David Conn as director and CEO. The move comes amid a period of restructuring for Sequential, which in October announced the departure of CEO Karen Murray, who had served in the role for just two years and said it would seek strategic alternatives.

“I’m thrilled to join Sequential Brands Group. My career has been focused around building and revitalizing brands, and I’m excited about the potential of Sequential’s portfolio.” said Conn in a release. “I look forward to leading this company during this period of transformation.”

Here’s what to know about the new Sequential leader.

He’s been a CEO twice before.

Conn most recently served as CEO of ThreeSixty Group, a company that sources and distributes consumer products via a portfolio of owned and licensed brands, including Blue Hat Toy Company, Sharper Image, FAO Schwarz and Wembley. Before working at ThreeSixty, Conn was CEO and a board member of jeans brand True Religion.

He has decades of experience in licensing and fashion.

Conn has worked in marketing and brand management for 25 years. Prior to joining True Religion, Conn was president of VF Corp.’s retail licensed brands division, where he helped acquire denim brand Rock & Republic. Before that, he was EVP at Iconix Brand Group from 2004 through 2008; early in his career, he worked at Candie’s Inc.

He’s experienced at working with companies in transition.

At the ThreeSixty helm, Conn played a major role in the acquisition and relaunch of the FAO Schwarz toy retailer. The rollout included a new New York City flagship and an e-commerce site. During his True Religion tenure, Conn spearheaded a new retail concept and the launch of an omnichannel platform.

In a release, Sequential chairman Bill Sweedler pointed to this experience as proof that Conn is the right fit for his new role.

“David Conn is an innovative, strategic, and entrepreneurial executive with an established track record of building and transforming businesses with strong global consumer brands. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge in the retail sector and strong industry relationships,” Sweedler said.

His appointment is one of many recent changes for Sequential.

Amid its leadership shakeup, Sequential is making other strategic moves to become “leaner” and “more nimble,” according to Sweedler. The firm sold off Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse Brands to Marquee Brands in April in a deal worth $175 million, plus an earn-out opportunity of up to $40 million if the business achieves certain financial goals. When it announced Murray’s departure in October, Sequential noted it might consider the divestiture of one or more existing brands, the acquisition of one or more new brands, and a stock buyback program, among other initiatives. In the third quarter, the company inked new licenses in multiple categories for Jessica Simpson and secured new kids footwear deals for its Joe’s, William Rast and Caribbean Joe brands.

For the third quarter, Sequential revenues tumbled nearly 14% to $25.4 million, although the firm beat estimates of $23.7 million. Sequential recorded losses of $0.9 million, or $0.02 per diluted share on an adjusted basis, which was worse than the loss of $0.01 per share analysts had expected.

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