St. John Knits chief executive officer Glenn McMahon is stepping down from his post at the end of this month, WWD has learned.
“Glenn has been a committed leader over the past six years and we are thankful for his dedication to the brand,” said Jim Kelley, a founding partner of Vestar Capital Partners, majority shareholder in Irvine, Calif.-based St. John.
The company started the search to find a successor for McMahon, who had joined St. John in 2007. During his time there, the company strengthened the design department, bringing in George Sharp as executive vice president of design, and then, when Sharp left last year, promoting Greg Myler to senior vice president of design. It also made a significant marketing push, tapping Kate Winslet in the fall 2011 and spring 2012 campaigns.
In addition, St. John established a jewelry division, relaunched e-commerce and started giving its freestanding retail units a facelift by O’Neil Langan Architects.
Last year, Vestar Capital revealed it had put the company on the block for a possible sale. The Gray family, who founded the firm in 1962, retains a minority stake. During McMahon’s tenure, both Marie Gray and her daughter Kelly returned to the brand in a consulting capacity.
Before joining St. John, McMahon spent two years as president of Dolce & Gabbana USA., where he oversaw Dolce & Gabbana and D&G’s wholesale and retail business in North America, as well as Dolce & Gabbana’s business in Latin and South America. Earlier, he served as president of Ellen Tracy, executive vice president of Giorgio Armani Collezioni USA and vice president of Donna Karan.
McMahon plans to move back to New York. “I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished during my time with St. John,” he said. “I believe in the team that I’ve built and the future of this great American brand.”