Iconix Brand Group Inc. has a new leader, John N. Haugh, who is set to become chief executive officer on April 1.

Haugh has been named president as of today. He was also appointed to the board. Current interim ceo Peter Cuneo will transition to executive chairman of the Iconix board when Haugh takes over the ceo role on April 1.

Haugh has more than 30 years experience leading global brands and retail businesses, which include Luxottica Group, Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. and Mars Inc. He also is on the board of teen retailer Aeropostale Inc., and serves as a member of the board of trustees for the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Cuneo said, “Our board has identified in John a talented and experienced executive who can focus Iconix on accelerating organic growth with our portfolio of brands and on exploring opportunities for new acquisitions.”

The interim ceo added that in the past six months, he has worked with the management team to review the company’s operations, focus on refinancing its convertible notes that mature in 2016 and work with the Securities and Exchange Commission to conclude its comment letter process. “We are well positioned for the next stage of growth under John’s leadership,” Cuneo said. He will shift his focus to areas where he can help the company in the transition to executive chairman.

Haugh said, “The company occupies a position of prominence in the industry and holds a tremendous portfolio of…brands that account for approximately $13 billion of retail sales globally.” He added that he looks forward to leading the management team to the firm’s next stage of growth.

As reported, the company last week said it has concluded the comment letter process with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That resulted in a restatement of certain historical financial statements connected to the accounting treatment applied to some joint venture transactions.

Next up is the refinancing of the $300 million in convertible notes dues this June. The company has said it is on track with the process, although some Wall Street analysts who cover the stock are concerned that current credit market conditions would require Iconix to pay an interest rate premium to get the refinancing completed.

Still an uncertainty is the status of the formal order of investigation issued by the SEC at the end of last year. Iconix said last week that it “intends to fully cooperate with the SEC” regarding the investigation.

Shares of Iconix, which closed down 3.7 percent to $7.62 on Tuesday in Nasdaq trading, rose 1.1 percent to $7.70 in aftermarket trading. News of Haugh’s appointment as the incoming ceo was disclosed after the equity markets closed.

 

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