Exec Changes at Lands' End

Share this content:
The sudden departure of the president/CEO and a high-level sales executive at Lands' End this week came as a surprise to industry watchers.

The company announced Oct. 28 that Michael J. Smith, who had been president/CEO since December 1994, will be replaced by David F. Dyer, 49. As part of the transition, William E. Ferry, vice chairman of sales, also left the company.

Dyer, who had worked for Lands' End from 1989 to 1994 -- originally as director of the business unit that launched the company's Coming Home catalog and later in high-level merchandising roles -- is scheduled to arrive at the company's Dodgeville, WI, headquarters to assume his new duties this week, said Charlotte LaComb, Lands' End manager of investor relations.

The move initially appeared to be a knee-jerk reaction to a slight second-quarter loss and a few quarters of slower earnings, said Bill Dean, president of W.A. Dean & Associates, San Francisco, a consulting firm.

"Neither I nor any of the analysts I have spoken to who follow the company had expected a change of that nature in this stage of the game, three-fourths of the way through the year," he said. "It makes you wonder if there is bad news in store when the third quarter ends."

LaComb would not comment on third-quarter results or analysts' expectations and would say only that the management decisions were made by the company's board of directors.

"While it may be a surprise to Lands' End and to the public, the board takes great care in making decisions and this was not made suddenly," she said. "The board was looking forward to the long-term interests of the company and to the state of the industry, the state of the economy and the state of our competitiveness. They felt they needed new leadership. Dave Dyer is a great merchant and a great manager, and the board feels he will be able to take the company forward."

The news was particularly surprising considering the company has a large international operation, and financial results from international operations have faltered because of economic conditions overseas. Dean noted that the company has a history of reacting quickly to bad news. However, he said Dyer has a strong name in the industry.

"He has a reputation as a good merchant, and it's a merchandising-driven company," he said.

Dyer served as president/CEO of the Home Shopping Network from August 1994 until August 1995. For the past few years, he has been a catalog/retail consultant, working most recently with the Texas Pacific Group, San Francisco, and the J. Crew Group, New York.
Loading links....

Next Article in Multichannel Marketing

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

DMN's Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here