MARKFIELD’S NEW ROLE: Roger Markfield is stepping down as president of American Eagle Outfitters Inc. next year and will transition to an advisory role to help the company develop its new retail concept and other growth initiatives, as well as give counsel on the direction of its namesake brand, the company said Tuesday. Susan McGalla, the company’s current chief merchandising officer, has been promoted to president of the American Eagle brand. Markfield, 63, signed an agreement to serve as an advisor to American Eagle through 2012 after he transitions to a “reduced schedule” in February 2006 from president, a role he has held since 2003. Markfield will remain vice chairman of the company’s board through 2006. Markfield first joined American Eagle in 1993 as chief merchandising officer.
ST. JOHN EXECUTIVE: Lowell Breving has been named executive vice president of retail at St. John, a new post. Most recently, Breving was vice president of retail at Hermes Paris USA. He oversaw the merchandising, sales and retail operations of 15 stores, as well as the company’s Internet sales, managing an annual volume of $175 million. At St. John, Breving will oversee all retail functions and merchandising for the company’s 33 stores and 11 outlets, in addition to leading global retail expansion in Asia and Europe. Breving, who begins June 6, will also join St. John’s executive committee. He will report to Richard Cohen, chief executive officer.
CHICO’S MOVE: Chico’s FAS Inc. has promoted Charles L. Nesbit to executive vice president of operations. In his new role, Nesbit, 49, will be responsible for managing Chico’s strategic planning process, evaluating new business ventures, and jointly overseeing the Soma intimate apparel initiative. He will continue to be responsible for logistics and supply chain management. In addition, Michael J. Kincaid, 47, was named senior vice president of finance and John R. Luciano, 47, was named vice president and executive art director. Kincaid will continue his responsibilities as chief accounting officer and assistant secretary. Luciano will oversee all aspects of the company’s brands, which include the Chico’s and Soma by Chico’s labels. Also, Jeff Gaul, 33, was named vice president of real estate, responsible for real estate activity in the eastern half of the U.S. for Chico’s, White House/Black Market and Soma stores. The company has 677 units.