By  on December 21, 2005

NEW YORK — Constance Darrow, Prada USA Corp.'s veteran chief executive officer, has left the company.

The Prada Group issued a statement Tuesday night saying Darrow resigned for "personal reasons."

Darrow joined Prada 12 years ago from Barneys New York, where she was senior vice president and general merchandise manager of women's ready-to-wear. She became ceo of Prada's U.S. division in 1998, taking over from Patrizio Di Marco.

During Darrow's tenure, the company has expanded its retail network, adding stores in cities such as Aspen, Colo., and Las Vegas and opening Epicenter-concept stores designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren on Broadway in Manhattan's SoHo and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Industry experts were surprised about Darrow's departure since she and Prada's global ceo, Patrizio Bertelli, were said to have had a close rapport.

One source, however, said Darrow's personality clashed with staff members. The source speculated that her management style may have contributed to recent departures of key executives. Darrow could not be reached for comment.

Katherine Ross, Prada USA's senior vice president of public relations and communications, left in September and is now vice president of p.r. and communications for LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton's North American operations. Johanne Shepley Siff, senior vice president of sales and marketing, is joining Swiss Army Brands' Victorinox global apparel and retail divisions as president next month. Siff and Ross did not return calls.

The company thanked Darrow "for her commitment to the brand." Prada Group named Carlo Mazzi, an executive board member, to handle the transition until Darrow's successor is named "in the near future," the statement said.

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