By  on December 1, 2009

The Tommy Hilfiger Group has named Gary Sheinbaum as chief executive officer of Tommy Hilfiger North America, a new post.

These responsibilities had been overseen by Fred Gehring, 55, who continues as ceo of the Tommy Hilfiger Group, and to whom Sheinbaum reports.

In addition, George Carrara, 41, has been named chief operating officer of Hilfiger North America, reporting to Sheinbaum with a dotted line to Ludo Onnink, chief operating officer of the Tommy Hilfiger Group.

Sheinbaum, 52, who joined the company in 1995, was most recently group president of Tommy Hilfiger North America for retail and e-commerce.

Last March, Hilfiger integrated Hilfiger Canada and Hilfiger USA Inc. under the umbrella of Tommy Hilfiger North America, and named Sheinbaum to oversee the retail business in Canada and the U.S. At the time, the company anticipated that exiting the wholesale sportswear business in Canada, combined with the integration of the U.S. and Canadian retail divisions, would improve overall profitability. Earlier, Sheinbaum was Hilfiger’s president of specialty retail; president of retail development for the wholesale division, and president of specialty and outlet stores. Before joining Hilfiger, Sheinbaum was president of J. Crew Retail.

“Gary possesses the drive and business acumen to continue to build the Tommy Hilfiger business in North America,” said Gehring. “He shares with me an ongoing desire to excel, he has the insight to strategize new concepts, and equally important, the skill to build and manage teams in support of a shared corporate vision.”

Carrara, 41, who came on board in 1999, was previously executive vice president of finance, operations and IT at the North American unit.

Gehring noted that Carrara’s work on the business integration of the North American unit was integral to its success, and his expertise and collaborative negotiation skills were key in bringing the footwear and handbag licenses successfully in-house.

In his new role, Sheinbaum will assume direct responsibility for all retail, wholesale, licensing and marketing functions in North America. The licensing division will continue to have a dotted line report to Gehring, and marketing will have a dotted line report to Avery Baker, global executive vice president of marketing and communications. Finance, IT, logistics, legal, human resources and the corporate foundation will report to Carrara.

Daniel Grieder continues as ceo of Tommy Hilfiger Europe B.V., the wholly owned subsidiary of Tommy Hilfiger Group, reporting to Gehring.

For the first half ended Sept. 30, sales at the Tommy Hilfiger Group rose 3.4 percent to 772 million euros, or $1.08 billion, from 747 million euros, or $1.05 billion.Sales in North America increased 13.1 percent to 324 million euros, or $453.6 million, from 286.4 million euros, or $401 million, due to strong performance at retail. At the time, the company said the addition of handbags, footwear and new product groups at Macy’s, Hilfiger’s exclusive department store retailer in the U.S., resulted in sales growth of 23.3 percent. Hilfiger has 169 company and specialty stores in the U.S., and 60 stores in Canada.

In an interview last month, Tommy Hilfiger told WWD he plans to open 100 stores in the year ending March 31, adding to the 950 stores he operates worldwide. The stores will be divided among Europe, North America and emerging markets. In addition, he anticipates growth in women’s wear, in particular denim and the runway collection. The group’s plans for an initial public offering remain “on ice,” although a stock market listing is still part of the company’s vision, according to Gehring.

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