Frasch to Take Saks Presidency

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NEW YORK – Saks Inc. has named Ron Frasch president and chief merchandising officer, effective May 5 upon the retirement of James Coggin as president and chief administrative officer.

Frasch, who’s currently vice chairman and chief merchant of Saks Fifth Avenue, will continue to report to Stephen Sadove, chief executive officer of Saks Inc.

Sadove said that Coggin “has been a great partner to me, and he has provided excellent leadership to the support areas of the company as we have upgraded, consolidated, and integrated many complex back office functions. His dedication, integrity, and experience are unmatched, and he will be missed.”

The CEO said Frasch “has provided outstanding strategic direction to the merchandising organization and has been instrumental in strengthening our vendor relationships and in substantially improving our merchandise assortments by market. Ron will continue to play a pivotal role as we continue to grow the business and strengthen our operating performance.”

Saks realigned other responsibilities as a result of Frasch’s succession of Coggin and its ongoing reorganization pursuant to the divestiture of its assets other than its 54 SFA stores, 50 Saks Off 5th units, 62 Club Libby Lu specialty shops and saks.com.

Carolyn Biggs, senior vice president of stores for SFA, has been named executive VP for stores, store visual, planning and construction, and Denise Incandela, senior VP of Saks Direct, has been promoted to president of Saks Direct and group senior vice president of the company.

Robert Wallstrom, senior VP and general manager of SFA’s flagship store in New York, has been named president of Saks Off 5th and group senior VP of the company.

Biggs, Incandela and Wallstrom also report to Sadove.

Suzanne Johnson, currently president of Saks Off 5th, has been appointed senior VP of the company and general manager of the New York flagship, reporting to Biggs. Joseph Boitano, senior VP and general merchandise manager of women’s ready-to-wear, has been named group senior VP of the same classifications. Similarly, Jennifer de Winter, senior VP and GMM of shoes, handbags and fine jewelry, now will be group senior VP for those areas. Both continue to report to Frasch.

Marc Metrick, currently head of planning, has been promoted to group senior VP and chief strategy officer. He will continue to report to Frasch in his ongoing role as head of merchandise planning but will report to Sadove on matters of strategy and business development.

Coggin was with McRae’s when it was acquired by Saks Inc. in 1994. He served successively as executive VP and chief administrative officer of the company, president and chief operating officer and in his current role, with responsibility for most of the firm’s back office support functions, beginning in 1998.

Michael Rodgers, executive VP of operations and credit, will add information technology and telecommunications to his duties following Coggin’s retirement and will report to Sadove. He will be the senior office in Saks’s Jackson, Ms., operations center. Thomas Matthew, group senior VP of asset protection, store operations and ethics and compliance, will add distribution, logistics and facilities management. He will continue to be based in New York and report to Sadove. Dan Dasinger, senior VP of logistics, will head SFA’s distribution center in Aberdeen, Md., and report to Matthew. William Herbst, VP of visual merchandising, will become senior VP of visual merchandising, store planning and construction, reporting to Biggs with a dotted line to Terron Schaefer, group senior VP of creative and marketing. Some of those responsibilities were under Don Docker, senior VP of store planning, construction and facilities maintenance, who will also retire on May 5.

Saks previously had sold its Northern department stores to Bon-Ton Stores and the majority of its southern department stores to Belk Inc.

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