WWD.com/retail-news/retail-features/housecleaning-at-ann-taylor-587280/
government-trade
government-trade

Housecleaning at Ann Taylor?

NEW YORK — Ann Taylor Stores Corp. is clearing out members of the executive suite at its Ann Taylor division, according to sources Tuesday.<BR><BR>Those executives said to be on the hit list: Laurie David, head of human resources; Kim Decker,...

NEW YORK — Ann Taylor Stores Corp. is clearing out members of the executive suite at its Ann Taylor division, according to sources Tuesday.

Those executives said to be on the hit list: Laurie David, head of human resources; Kim Decker, vice president of planning and allocation, and Melissa Le Beau, executive vice president of stores.

Ann Taylor officials could not be reached late Tuesday afternoon to confirm whether the executives had left the company.

The reported departures follow a reorganization of management at the corporation last November, when Kay Krill, the driving force behind the success of Ann Taylor Loft, was promoted to president of the parent Ann Taylor Stores Corp., displacing Jerome Jessup as the top executive at the Ann Taylor division. Jessup held the title of senior executive vice president of merchandise and design, and was setting new directions at the division, including the look of the clothes and the stores. The company announced Jessup’s departure last week.

Krill now oversees Ann Taylor Loft, Ann Taylor Stores and Ann Taylor Factory Stores. In addition, she oversees the marketing across divisions, and was appointed a member of the board.

She has said that Ann Taylor’s assortments could be better tailored to the tastes of customers in different regions and climates, and should improve product flow and marketing.

The company operates about 350 Loft units, 360 Ann Taylor units and about 36 factory outlets. This year, 75 Lofts, 15 Ann Taylors and 15 outlets are slated to open.

While profits and sales have for years been soaring at Loft, the Ann Taylor division has been dragging down the overall corporation.

“Each year, it’s a revolving door at Ann Taylor. Only Kay Krill has managed to survive,” said a source.

Krill reports to Ann Taylor chairman J. Patrick Spainhour.