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Saks Confirms Boitano Move

NEW YORK — Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises named Joseph Boitano as senior vice president and general merchandise manager of women’s ready-to-wear and children’s, as part of a string of senior-level changes announced Monday.<BR><BR>The...

NEW YORK — Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises named Joseph Boitano as senior vice president and general merchandise manager of women’s ready-to-wear and children’s, as part of a string of senior-level changes announced Monday.

The appointments confirmed management changes previously reported by WWD.

Saks said Boitano will oversee all women’s rtw categories while retaining his designer rtw and children’s responsibilities. Boitano has served as senior vice president and general merchandise manager since 1999. He began his retail career with I. Magnin and rose to executive vice president of merchandising at Bergdorf Goodman before joining Saks.

Boitano assumes responsibilities previously held by William Lynch, who was shifted to a newly created post with an unusual designation: senior vice president of brand filter implementation. That involves helping to develop Saks’ branding strategies and improving customer service. Saks said Lynch will be part of the company’s “brand filter task force.”

In addition, Manuel Sousa was appointed executive vice president of human resources, succeeding John Woodward, who recently resigned, though Saks said he will remain with the store for the next few months to ensure a smooth transition. Sousa, who has served in senior level jobs at Invesco, Mars Inc., Avon and Pepsi-Cola Co., will report to Fred Wilson, chairman and chief executive officer of Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises. Sousa will be a member of the executive committee.

Lynch, who has been with Saks since 1992, will report to Sousa. Boitano reports to Ron Frasch, who has all the top merchants reporting to him, though he has not yet been given an official title.

Among the others reporting to Frasch is Frank Matz, who was named to the newly created post of senior vice president of gifts and food, considered an important growth area for the company.

Matz was managing director for Duty Free Shops in Australia and New Zealand, and before that was director of food halls for Harrods International.

This story first appeared in the August 24, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.