The Neiman Marcus Group has made two high-level temporary appointments to further turnaround progress and provide backup to management, WWD has learned.
Jim Scully, a former J. Crew, Ann Taylor, J. Jill and Saks Inc. financial and operations executive, has been named NMG’s interim chief growth officer.
Mark Weinsten has been named interim chief financial officer, filling the vacancy left by Brandy Richardson, a 15-year Neiman’s veteran who joined Men’s Wearhouse parent Tailored Brands Inc. over a month ago.
The appointments suggest support needed in strategy, financial and operational areas, though the backgrounds and expertise of the interim executives raises some speculation that there could be some financial reengineering ahead. NMG emerged from bankruptcy in September 2020 with new owners, including PIMCO, Davidson Kempner Capital Management and Sixth Street Partners LLC, in a healthier financial position and with a lot less debt.
Weinsten is a managing director in the Boston-based Berkshire Research Group corporate finance area. According to the company, he has developed and analyzed business plans and restructuring strategies; evaluated and negotiated joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions and debt restructurings; valued companies and business units; formulated cash flows and budgets, and implemented revenue enhancement, liquidity improvement and cost-reduction programs.
“NMG has recently hired two interim leaders,” Neiman Marcus Group said in a statement provided to WWD. “Jim has extensive knowledge and experience in operating fundamentals, financial discipline, and capital markets expertise, which will propel NMG forward as the company continues to operationalize their growth roadmap.”
“NMG has also recently hired Mark Weinsten as an interim CFO while the company searches for a permanent role,” the statement continued. Weinsten, a consultant, previously consulted Neiman’s as interim chief operating officer from September 2019 to April 2020. He will report to chief executive officer Geoffroy van Raemdonck.
Neiman’s did not specify their responsibilities.
“He’s an operational guy that could oversee sourcing, real estate, finance, logistics, store operations. People could report to him at those levels,” said one industry source.
The source noted that it makes sense Scully is moving into an interim role since he holds a few board seats that he would want to keep. It’s likely he was brought into Neiman’s because he has skills that complement those of NMG’s CEO van Raemdonck, who is considered a merchant.
“They may need some help on the operational side,” said the source. “It seems like this is a case where Neiman’s private equity owners felt the company needed someone temporarily, while they decide on getting someone in a more permanent role.”
The unusual retail title of interim chief growth officer suggests certain commercial responsibilities for driving revenues, though one source pointed out that Scully, while at J. Crew, was instrumental in taking the company public in 2006. J. Crew turned private in 2011.
Scully is on the boards of J. Jill, B.H. Cosmetics, Archimedes Advisors, Faherty Brand and Specialty Building Products. He is a founding partner of Elm Street Advisors.
Scully worked at Avon from 2015 to 2017 as CFO and then COO. He worked at J. Crew from 2005 to 2008, first as cfo and later chief administrative officer and CFO. At Saks Inc., he served as executive vice president of human resources and strategic planning, and earlier senior vice president of strategic and financial planning.