• SEARS HIRES FINANCE EXEC: Sears Holdings Corp. has hired Michael Collins, former senior vice president of planning and analysis at General Electric Corp.’s NBC Universal unit, as senior vice president of finance. Sears expects him to succeed J. Miles Reidy as chief financial officer later this year. Reidy will step down to attend to a family matter. Collins spent 18 years with GE.
This story first appeared in the October 14, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
• BUSH SIGNS ANTICOUNTERFEITING BILL: President Bush signed an anticounterfeiting bill Monday that provides increased resources for the Justice Department to combat intellectual property theft, stiffens criminal and civil penalties and provides more funding to hire FBI officers. A new intellectual property enforcement coordinator will chair an interagency committee to create a strategic plan to fight piracy and counterfeiting. The bill increases the statutory damages in a fundamental trademark case to a maximum of $200,000 from $100,000. In cases of “willful trademark counterfeiting,” the maximum damages increase to $2 million from $1 million. The bill also provides $25 million over the next three fiscal years for a new program to train state and local law enforcement in anticounterfeiting methods. China is the number-one culprit for fashion counterfeits that expose U.S. brands to millions of dollars in lost revenue.
• CUTTER TO JOIN KOOBA: Kooba has named Michelle Cutter as vice president of marketing and new business development. Cutter will be responsible for the handbag firm’s marketing efforts, as well as its domestic and international expansion. Before joining Kooba, Cutter served as the vice president of marketing and international sales for Coach Watches, where she was responsible for all areas of marketing and merchandising. Cutter will report to Kooba co-presidents Lynn Pincus and Abbe Held.
• VORISEK JOINS HOUSING WORKS: Richard Vorisek has been named president of Housing Works Thrift Shops. He succeeds Matthew Bernardo, who was promoted to a senior vice president post within Housing Works Thrift Shops’ parent company, Housing Works Inc. Vorisek was most recently a consultant and before that was senior vice president of Polo Ralph Lauren from 2003 to 2006, where he led the international merchandising and planning division. Previously, he was global vice president of apparel and accessories for Duty Free Shops, a division of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, from 1999 to 2002. Vorisek will oversee the seven boutiques that make up the thrift store chain, which earns $13 million annually.
• NEW BAG: Antichi Pellettieri SpA, the leather goods division of Italy’s Mariella Burani Fashion Group, said Monday it had appointed Christopher Bizzio to the newly created role of chief executive officer of Antichi Pellettieri Bags Srl, the subholding it owns with 3i. The 42-year-old American joins after stints at Salvatore Ferragamo SpA and Trussardi SpA, and has been tasked with integrating production and distribution and developing business in emerging markets, the group said. Private equity firm 3i acquired a 49 percent stake in APB in August. APB operates brands including Braccialini, Coccinelle and Mandarina Duck.