James Brett, president of West Elm, the furniture and home decor brand in the Williams Sonoma Inc. portfolio, has been named to the board of directors of Cole Haan. This brings the total number of board members to seven.
Brett joined West Elm six years ago and before that was at Urban Outfitters Inc., where he was chief merchandising officer of the flagship chain. Earlier he was merchandise manager of Anthropologie and held posts at J.C. Penney, Stage Stores and May Co.
“Jim’s broad experience in retail lifestyle brands makes him an ideal addition to the Cole Haan board and he will provide valuable perspective to the management team as we continue to expand our category breadth beyond footwear and accessories,” said John Megrue, chairman of Apax Partners U.S. and board chairman of Cole Haan. Apax Partners acquired Cole Haan in February 2013, making it privately owned for the first time in 25 years.
Jack Boys, chief executive officer of Cole Haan, added that Brett’s experience “in driving global retail brands will be invaluable for the Cole Haan team as we continue to open new markets and build stores domestically.”