NEW YORK — Rita Mangan has resigned as senior vice president for cosmetics at the Federated Merchandising Group, ending one of the longest, most respectedtenures in prestige beauty retailing.

A successor is expected to be named shortly.

Mangan says she plans to take some time off and "explore the possibilities of doing something different as part of my career." Her resignation was announced internally Monday to the staff of the Federated Department Store division. "I want to take a break, regroup and try something different," she added, noting that she has been discussing her desire for a change since last August.

A departure date has not been set.

Mangan’s contribution to Federated was cited by none other than Terry Lungren, the recently name chief executive officer and president of Federated Department Stores.

"Rita has been a part of Federated Merchandising’s cosmetics division since as long as I can remember," said Lungren, who ran the Merchandising Group when Mangan came from Macy’s East. "She had to build the organizational structure from the ground up," he recalled, "and she did a brilliant job. I enjoyed spending the time with Rita. She had a terrific career with us. She feels very positive about her contribution."

Mangan joined what was then Federated’s Bamberger’s division in New Jersey as a sales manager in ready-to-wear in 1980. She gradually switched to cosmetics, rising to senior vice president of cosmetics in 1992 at Macy’s East, which by that time had absorbed the old Bamberger’s division.

Mangan moved to corporate in 1996, where she assumed her present position. Prior to joining Bamberger’s, her first job out of college was as a manager of a Gap store in New Jersey’s Monmouth Mall for three years.

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