NEW YORK -- Mitchell Simbal has joined The He-Ro Group as vice president, director of store operations.

Simbal will be responsible for the company's retail business, which includes 25 He-Ro Group stores in outlet centers throughout the U.S. He assumes responsibilities that had been held by Kenneth Maizel, who left He-Ro a little over two months ago as president of retail.

Simbal was director of retail at St. John Knits and is succeeded there by Patti Cannavan, who was promoted from New York store manager to director of operations. Cannavan will be based at St. John's headquarters in Irvine, Calif., and will share retail responsibilities with Rochelle Drum, who continues as buyer and merchandiser.

In another He-Ro appointment, Raymond Wai-man Lau has been named general manager of the Hong Kong branch office. Lau, who has been senior vice president and controller of the branch since 1989, will assume all manufacturing responsibilities formerly held by Maria Ng.

Lau, who unofficially began taking over Ng's duties when she left in December as president of the manufacturing division, will work closely with Harold Blatter, who recently came on board as senior vice president, international sourcing and production.

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