Harrods' McKee To Take Over At Saks

Saks will be run by Harrods chief merchant Marigay McKee once its acquisition by Hudson's Bay is complete, Bloomberg reported on Monday (Sept. 16).

The announcement came the same day that current Saks CEO Stephen I. Sadove and chief merchant Ronald L. Frasch said they would leave the luxury fashion retailer after the sale was complete. McKee had been reported as the front-runner for the job of Saks president by the New York Post.

The new Saks chief merchandising officer will be Jennifer de Winter, who is currently director of stores for Saks. Marc Metrick, who is currently an executive VP at Hudson's Bay, will become Saks chief administrative officer. His main responsibility will be integrating Saks into Hudson's Bay.

That process now has only one major remaining external hurdle: approval by Saks shareholders. On Tuesday (Sept 17) the U.S. Federal Trade Commission cleared the $2.4 billion sale, which is expected to close by the end of 2013.

The fact that both the new Saks president and chief merchant are women is almost certainly not a coincidence. The Post quoted an unnamed retail executive who had been briefed on the succession plan, who said that Hudson's Bay CEO Richard Baker believes that "Saks is a store for women" that "has been run by a bunch of old guys for too long."

But neither McKee nor de Winter qualifies as a quota hire. McKee has been on the Harrods board since 2005 and has been the department-store giant's head fashion merchant since 2007 and chief merchant since 2011. De Winter has been director of stores for Saks since 2008 and has been a Saks merchandising executive since 1995.

For more:

- See this Bloomberg story

Related stories:

Saks Execs To Exit After Hudson's Bay Sale
Saks Agrees To Hudson's Bay Buyout, No Lord & Taylor Merger
Lord & Taylor Parent Hudson's Bay Wants To Buy Saks