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Lands’ End CEO Steps Down

Popular apparel brand Lands’ End, parent company of its Lands’ End Business Outfitters (asi/250566) division, announced Monday that CEO Federica Marchionni has stepped down after less than two years with the company. After previous stints at Dolce & Gabbana and Ferrari, Marchionni joined in February last year to reinvent the company with a new emphasis on fashion.

“I am honored to have led this extraordinary company and proud to have succeeded in providing a vision to expand its positioning in the industry with a multidimensional strategy,” said Marchionni, who also resigned as director. “However, the Board of Directors and I have agreed it is time for others to bring Lands’ End into the future.”

Joseph Boitano and James Gooch will succeed Marchionni as interim co-CEOs. Boitano, the company’s executive vice president and chief merchandising and design officer, was hired in June 2015 from luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue. Gooch, who joined the company in January and previously worked for DeMoulas Supermarkets, Inc. and Radio Shack, currently serves as COO, CFO and executive vice president. The company is immediately searching for a permanent replacement and is considering internal and external candidates.

Lands’ End was owned by Sears Holdings from 2002 to 2014, after which the company was spun off to Sears’ shareholders. As an independent company, Lands’ End hired Marchionni, who set about overhauling the company’s executive ranks, branding, product lines and more. The company, however, has yet to see a financial uptick, with a 9% decline in revenue in fiscal 2015 and declines of 9% and 7% in the year’s first two quarters. Lands’ End stock price has lost a third of its value since a year ago.

A profile on feminist Gloria Steinem that ran on the company’s website and in its catalog earlier this year attracted controversy and resulted in the cancellation of uniform orders from Catholic schools due to Steinem’s pro-choice views.

“[Federica’s] creative vision has helped Lands’ End begin its transformation as a global lifestyle brand with a broader merchandise offering that is more relevant in today's marketplace,” said Chairman of the Board Josephine Linden in a statement. “Federica is stepping down at this time, leaving Lands’ End well positioned to continue its evolution and capture the growth opportunities that exist for our iconic brand in this dynamic retail environment."