Parker Named Executive Chairman at Samsonite

Parker's promotion at Samsonite follows departure of Ceo Marcello Bottoli.

Tim Parker has been named executive chairman at Samsonite.

This story first appeared in the January 15, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Parker was promoted from his role of nonexecutive chairman of the luggage company, which is owned by private equity company CVC Capital Partners. Samsonite’s chief executive officer, Marcello Bottoli, exited the firm this week, along with chief financial officer Rick Wiley. Kyle Gendreau has replaced Wiley as acting cfo.

Parker, who hails from the U.K., has a background in the retail, automotive and consumer goods industries, having worked as ceo of CVC companies AA and Kwik-Fit. He has also been a nonexecutive director of PBL Media, also part of CVC’s portfolio, as well as ceo of footwear brand Clarks, the Shoe Co. and Kenwood Appliances.

A spokesman for Samsonite said the executive appointments “enable Samsonite to continue strengthening its leading position in the lifestyle travel sector. Tim Parker brings more than 25 years’ experience of running leading international branded businesses and has held ceo positions for two CVC companies.”

In the past few years under Bottoli’s direction, Samsonite took the luxury route, introducing the Black Label division of high-end luggage, as well as capsule luggage collections designed by the likes of Alexander McQueen, Viktor & Rolf and Marc Newson. The company also opened signature stores for the Black Label line.

Samsonite owns Lambertson Truex, the luxury American accessories brand that was put up for sale in December. The company is still looking for a buyer.