By  on June 17, 2009

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. on Wednesday named Gary H. Schoenfeld, a former top executive at Global Brands Group and Vans Inc., as president and chief executive officer.

Schoenfeld will succeed Sally Frame Kasaks, ceo at the troubled teen retailer since 2006 and chairman since 2007, effective June 29. Peter Starrett, lead director, will become non-executive chairman, the company said.

Schoenfeld most recently was vice chairman and president, then co-ceo, of Global Brands Group, a brand management and licensing company. Before that, he spent nine years at Vans, where he was president and ceo until its acquisition by VF Corp. in 2004. Schoenfeld led a turnaround that resulted in sales more than quadrupling.

PacSun, based in Anaheim, Calif., has been struggling on multiple fronts, including a string of weak financial performances and the closures of two spin-off retail concepts, D.e.m.o. and One Thousand Steps.

The retailer in fiscal 2008 posted a net loss of $63.8 million on sales of $1.25 billion, compared with a net loss of $30.4 million on sales of $1.31 billion in the prior year. In this year’s first quarter, the loss receded to $8.7 million from $37.1 million in the comparable 2007 period, while sales fell 16.6 percent, to $223.5 million from $266.9 million, and same-store sales fell 18 percent.

“We have a lot of work ahead to get our business turned around, yet I am very enthusiastic about our long-term prospects,” Schoenfeld said. “Our mission must be focused on defining our PacSun brand and store positioning in a way that captures the unique, aspirational attributes of our California heritage, strengthening our connection with our customers…and cultivating a passion among our 11,000 associates.”

Adrenalina Inc. pursued the far larger PacSun, starting in 2008 and ending in April, when Adrenalina called off its proxy fight. Adrenalina made two offers to buy PacSun — for about $300 million and then about $329 million — and was rebuffed. Adrenalina, which owns about 3.2 percent of PacSun, had threatened a proxy battle to install four directors.

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