Cole Haan has named Dave McTague as its new chief executive officer, effective Jan. 4, succeeding James Seuss, who has decided to leave the company.

This story first appeared in the December 16, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Seuss, who held the ceo post since May 2006, could not be reached for comment, but it is understood he has another job, which could not be learned at press time.

McTague will report to Eunan McLaughlin, president of Nike Inc. Affiliates, which owns and operates the accessories firm. Prior to his most recent role as executive vice president of partnered brands for Liz Claiborne Inc., which he left on Dec. 4, McTague served as president of Converse Apparel from 2005 to 2007. Nike owns Converse as well.

McTague brings 25 years of industry experience to his role at Cole Haan, having also worked for Victorinox Swiss Army Inc., as president of global apparel and retail, and president of men’s wear for Tommy Hilfiger USA. He was not available for comment.

McTague will oversee all divisions of Cole Haan, which designs, markets and distributes luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats, dating back to 1928. A wholly owned subsidiary of Nike Inc., Cole Haan operates some 60 signature stores throughout the U.S., Asia and the Middle East. Its merchandise is also distributed in such department stores as Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom.

“We look forward to welcoming Dave back to the Nike Inc. family,” said McLaughlin. “With his previous leadership at Converse and knowledge and passion in the industry, we feel confident Dave has the skills and experience to lead Cole Haan into its next phase of growth, connecting the brand with consumers worldwide.”

Seuss joined Cole Haan in 2006 from Harry Winston and during his tenure sharpened the footwear brand’s focus on design and comfort via Nike Air technology and upgraded its accessories collection via such signatures as woven handbags and the penny motif referencing the company’s iconic penny loafer. He narrowed the number of collections and also launched a cleaner design for the brand’s stores.

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