NEW YORK -- Neiman Marcus may have found its new chairman and chief executive officer.
While Neiman's officials insisted that no decision had been made, all signs point to Burton Tansky, chairman and chief executive officer of Bergdorf Goodman, a division of the Neiman Marcus Group.
On Thursday, in the middle of New York collections week, Tansky was mysteriously absent from the shows, and had abruptly canceled appointments. That triggered a flood of speculation about his whereabouts, and some of it pointed to Dallas, headquarters of Neiman Marcus.
Although Bergdorf's staff was told that Tansky was in Pittsburgh visiting his mother, WWD located him at the Mansion Hotel in Dallas.
"I'm here on corporate business," Tansky said.
He declined to comment when asked if he would be named the new head of Neiman's.
Robert Tarr, president and ceo of Neiman Marcus Group, said late Thursday that Tansky was a candidate for the job, but that there are several others being considered, as well. "There is no new ceo for Neiman's," he stressed.
Tarr said Tansky was in Dallas to identify possible back office consolidations of Neiman's and Bergdorf's. The two divisions have already merged the mail order fulfillment function.
Asked about Tansky's absence from the fall shows Thursday, Tarr said, "He usually attends them, but he doesn't attend them all."
Tarr said he was in no rush to make an announcement on Neiman's. The ceo position was previously held by Terry Lundgren, who resigned to become chairman and ceo of Federated Merchandising. Lundgren starts his new job on Monday.
If Tansky makes the move to Dallas, it will open up another one of retailing's plum jobs -- the top spot at Bergdorf's.
Tansky became chairman and chief executive officer of Bergdorf's in February 1991.
Prior to that, Tansky was president of Saks Fifth Avenue for 10 years.
He joined Saks Fifth Avenue in 1977 as senior vice president and general merchandise manager.
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