Is Lizanne Kindler up for a big promotion at Sycamore Partners?
Kindler is running Sycamore’s Talbots division, getting the 74-year-old classic women’s chain back on its feet. But according to two sources, she is in line to head the Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey divisions of Ascena, succeeding Gary Muto, who held the role of chief executive officer of Ascena. It is believed Muto’s last day on the job was Monday.
Officials from Sycamore and Talbots Inc. declined to comment on whether Kindler was being promoted, as well as on Muto’s situation. One source said Kindler would be interim ceo of Ascena, with a chance of being its permanent ceo.
It’s not clear whether Kindler would continue to supervise Talbots as well as Ascena. On Dec. 23, Ascena said Sycamore had completed its $540 million acquisition of Ann Taylor, Loft, Lou & Grey and Lane Bryant. Ascena is now privately owned by Sycamore Partners, no longer a publicly traded company, and no longer in bankruptcy after about five months of Chapter 11 proceedings.
“People love working with Lizanne,” said one source. “She’s a dynamic merchant and also a smart operator.”
Last fall, Kindler launched “Haven Well Within,” a website and concept shop in many Talbots stores that sells bedding, towels, sleepwear, loungewear, intimate apparel and beauty, among other products.
Born in Denmark, Kindler has spent the last several years in Hingham, Mass., where Talbots is based. She started her career at Ann Taylor, where she was part of the team leading the launch of the e-commerce business and Ann Taylor Loft. She worked for a few years at Kohl’s Corp. as executive vice president of product development and has served as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.