Fifth & Pacific Is Now Kate Spade & Company, With a New CEO

Fifth & Pacific (NYSE: FNP), formerly Liz Claiborne, has changed its name once again. The apparel maker will now be known as Kate Spade & Company, reflecting the fact that it is comprised of only one brand.

The New York-based company is also saying goodbye to CEO William McComb who will be be replaced by Craig Leavitt, who is currently the chief executive of Kate Spade. Additionally, George Carrara, currently chief operating officer and chief financial officer will be promoted to president, the company said.

The two changes come as the company closes out an eight-year transition from a multi-brand unit to its newly-adapted "mono-brand focus." Under McComb's leadership, the company shed its former title as Liz Claiborne after selling the brand to J.C. Penney. He also sold off more than a dozen other brands, including Dana Buchman, Juicy Couture and, most recently, Lucky Brand Jeans. Kate Spade has remained a bright spot for the company, with sales surging 48 percent in 2012 to $462 million with comparable direct-to-consumer sales gaining 30 percent.

As far as what McComb plans to do next, that's not yet been disclosed, but according to the release, he will be "meeting with analysts and investors in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition." McComb has been with the company since 2006.

The corporate name change and management transition are scheduled to take place following the release of fourth quarter earnings results on Feb. 25, at which time the company will begin trading as NYSE: KATE.

For more see:
-This Fifth & Pacific press release
-This Wall Street Journal article

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