Wolfgang Ley Steps Down as Escada CEO

In his new role, he still will be involved with the brand's development and public image.

NEW YORK — Effective Feb. 1, Escada AG’s founder and chief executive officer, Wolfgang Ley, will step down from his post and pass the baton to Frank Rheinboldt, ceo of Escada Group’s Primera AG.

At a supervisory board meeting on Monday, Ley, 67, nominated Rheinboldt, 39, to the board and recommended him as his official successor, which was approved. Rheinboldt is no stranger at Escada. He has been with the group for 15 years and is credited with turning around the Münster-based Primera, which operates the Laurèl, Apriori and Cavita collections, as well as the BiBa retail chain.

Ley founded Escada in 1978 with his late wife, Margaretha. He is leaving the company at his own choice on Jan. 31, but will continue in an ambassadorial role as founder and creative chairman of the Escada Group. In his new role, he still will be involved with the brand’s development and public image.

“I have been grooming my successor for a long time,” Ley said on Monday. “Frank will be making the decisions for Escada, but in my new position, I can still contribute to the brand’s success. We are announcing it so early because Frank also has to find his successor as ceo of Primera.”

Rheinboldt said in a statement, “At the onset of this new period of growth, it is my express aim to see the international labels of the group develop and to drive their luxury concept still further.”

This story first appeared in the September 20, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.