LIZ CLAIBORNE TAPS TWO, INTERNATIONALLY: Liz Claiborne Inc. has appointed Patricia J. Royak as president of Liz Claiborne Europe and Patricia Williamson as president of International Alliances. Both will report to Jorge Figueredo, president of Liz Claiborne International. In her new position, Royak, who was president of International Alliances, will lead the effort to grow the Liz Claiborne brand, identify opportunities for other brands in Europe and work closely with Mexx management. She will be based in Holland. Williamson assumes Royak’s former role and will be responsible for sales, marketing, merchandising and business development activities for Liz Claiborne in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. She has been vice president and general manager for Liz Claiborne Casual Petites.
END OF AN ERA: Putting its ill-fated ventures into the sporting goods business behind, The Benetton Group SpA agreed on Friday to sell its Prince sports equipment brand to the Lincolnshire Equity Fund LP, a U.S. investment firm, for $39.4 million. The sports businesses, which also included Nordica ski boots and Roller Blade inline skates, necessitated write-offs that will lead Benetton to report a full-year loss, its first, for 2002. The deal with Lincolnshire, already in the sports business, includes the Ektelon brand and a number of intangible assets and is expected to close at the end of April. The move completes a tumultuous year in which Luciano Benetton stepped down from daily management of the firm and managing director Luigi de Puppi said he would resign in mid-May following the firm’s annual meeting. De Puppi was originally brought into the firm to restructure its unprofitable sporting goods ventures. A successor to him has been selected, but that person’s identity hasn’t been revealed.
NEW CEO AT DORBY: Richard Silverstein has been named chief executive officer of The Dorby Group, formerly Dorby Frocks, to succeed Richard Golden. Most recently, Silverstein was president of merchandising and sales for Studio 1, a New York-based dress company. A 25-year veteran of the retail and apparel industries, Silverstein “will be instrumental in expanding the franchise into the department store channel of distribution,” said Stephen Ruzow, president of Kellwood women’s wear. Known for its value-oriented, branded and private label dresses and sportswear, The Dorby Group consists of two divisions: Dorby and Miss Dorby. During a transition period, Silverstein will report to Golden, Dorby chairman and former ceo. Golden will retire from the company in September.