By  on August 27, 2008

LAS VEGAS — Paul McAdam, president of Ben Sherman North America, will exit that position at the end of this week. He will not be replaced but London-based Ben Sherman, a unit of Oxford Industries, is promoting Joseph Cook, vice-president of sales for North America, to the position of senior vice-president of sales and marketing. He will oversee all wholesale activity in the region.

In a statement, Miles Gray, CEO of Ben Sherman Group Ltd. said, “We are confident that Joe Cook will build on the great work he has done over the past two years in this key market for our company. We do not intend to replace the role of president, North America as I will personally be focusing a large part of my time supporting Joe and our U.S. team, together with our group retail and creative directors.”

McAdam, Gray, Cook and Oxford Industries chairman and CEO J. Hicks Lanier are all in Las Vegas this week for the MAGIC and Project trade shows. The announcement of the management change came as a surprise to Ben Sherman employees in New York and those at the Project trade show.

McAdam has run the North American business for the past three years. He originally joined Ben Sherman in 2000 as international director based in London, and was promoted to the position of U.K managing director prior to moving to New York for the North American post.

“During Paul’s time in our U.S. subsidiary we have enjoyed significant growth of our brand with key retail partners and have opened great retail stores in L.A., Las Vegas and San Francisco, with Chicago and Boston locations signed for spring ’09,” added Gray.
According to the company, McAdam decided to move on to new challenges and develop business interests on the West Coast where his family resides.

For the first quarter of 2008, Ben Sherman worldwide sales slid 6.8 percent to $36.6 million, as operating income plunged 84.8 percent to $255,000. The company attributed the declines to lower sales in its U.K. wholesale business as it repositions the brand there and lower sales in the U.S. wholesale business due to its ending of an agreement to distribute Evisu here, which resulted in expense de-leveraging. These factors were partially offset by increased sales at retail stores and in markets outside the U.K. and U.S.

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