At Spanx Inc., incoming chief executive officer Jan Singer will be challenged to bring the shapewear company’s growth and reputation for innovation to the next level.
This story first appeared in the June 6, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“Spanx has just scratched the surface,” Singer said Thursday, when Spanx disclosed that she will join the company in July. “It’s super, superearly for me to say what the opportunities are. They’ve been pretty aggressive in their growth. I can’t see that slowing down,” Singer told WWD.
Singer will report to Sara Blakely, the founder and owner of the Atlanta-based company. Gregg Ribatt, the interim ceo, will assist Singer through a transition, and then continue to serve on the company’s board of advisers. Laurie Ann Goldman, the last ceo, left last February, after successfully building Spanx from a spunky start-up into an internationally recognized brand with an estimated $300 million to $400 million in volume. Sources said that it’s possible there was a difference of opinion between Blakely and Goldman on how to take the company to the next level.
Singer is currently Nike’s corporate vice president of global apparel. Prior to that, she was that firm’s corporate vice president of global footwear. Earlier, Singer served as the vice president and general manager of Reebok’s women’s business and played key marketing and global communications roles for Chanel, Calvin Klein, and Prada. She also previously served as the beauty and fitness editor for YM magazine.
“Jan’s role in helping to lead and innovate at premium, global brands across the apparel, footwear and beauty industries, combined with her deep understanding of the consumer, make her the perfect fit for Spanx,” Blakely said. “I’m confident that she will transition from the locker room to the fitting room seamlessly. I am grateful to Gregg Ribatt for his role in leading the company through this transition and setting us up for the next phase of growth.”
“I think Sara is one of the most innovative leaders. She’s passionate, irreverent, fun and a risk-taker,” said Singer. “She’s deeply passionate about the issues, concerns and needs of consumers and she loves listening to the consumer. She’s passionate about making their lives better.”
Spanx sells 200 products ranging from slimming apparel and swimsuits, to bras, activewear and men’s undershirts.