Trudy F. Sullivan, president of Liz Claiborne, will become president and chief executive officer of Talbots Inc. on Aug. 6, succeeding Arnold Zetcher, who led the company for 20 years and built the brand into a nationally recognized name with a loyal following.
Though she has big shoes to fill, Talbots’ decision to hire the 57-year-old Sullivan seems like a good fit, considering she’s an industry veteran with vast experience in vertical retailing and catering to the misses market.
Sullivan first has to get her feet wet on the job, and help reverse the sagging sales and profits trends at Talbots Inc. and its J. Jill division. But her move does raise the possibility of Talbots further building up its portfolio of brands, and examining the portfolio at Claiborne, which is expected to shed some of its labels.
Talbots bought J. Jill about a year ago. Sullivan will also become a member of the Talbots board of directors.
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