By  on January 8, 2002

NEW YORK -- Saks Inc. named Stephen I. Sadove, former senior vice president of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., vice chairman of the company, confirming a report in these columns Monday.

Sadove is responsible for Saks Inc.'s strategic and operating plans, performance management, and the identification and cultivation of brand extensions and new business opportunities. He reports to R. Brad Martin, chairman and chief executive officer of Saks Inc.

Both Christina Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises, and George Jones, chief executive officer of the Saks Department Store Group, report jointly to Martin and Sadove.

Martin stressed that Johnson's role at Saks Fifth Avenue is unchanged. "I'm thrilled with Tina. She's a wonderful partner. Steve's addition is as a member of our corporate staff," he said.

Sadove, 50, will continue to serve on Saks Inc.'s board, a post he has held since September 1998. Sadove also served on the board of Saks Holdings Inc. from 1996 until its September 1998 merger with what was then Proffitt's.

His last day at Bristol-Myers Squibb was Friday and he started at Saks Monday. He maintains offices here and in Birmingham, Ala., Saks Inc.'s corporate headquarters.

"Having served on the board of Saks Holdings and Saks Inc., I have been involved with the shaping and direction of the company," said Sadove.

In an interview with WWD, Martin said, "Steve will be a corporate official, serving with me on the corporate staff and working with the corporate executives. He's a valued member of our board, and he has great brand-building experience. I was looking to bring a consumer products and brand-building executive to the team and transfer some of my responsibilities to him and gain a consumer products brand-building perspective."

Among the duties that Martin will hand over to Sadove are the oversight of the corporation's budget and its annual strategic and operating plan.

Sadove, a long-time beauty executive, said he brings to the Saks team "brand building, leadership, culture development and strategic planning." He said that he's experienced in building brands, and that Saks Fifth Avenue, "which is already a strong brand," has opportunities for growth, as do some of the department stores.

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