After a yearlong search, Gary S. Cohen has been named chief executive officer of Timex Group. The company’s previous ceo, Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, resigned in late 2009.
The Timex Group encompasses an umbrella of licensed brands including Salvatore Ferragamo, Valentino, and Versus, in addition to owned brands such as Timex and Marc Ecko.
Cohen was most recently global general manager and vice president of Playtex Products Inc., and previously worked for Procter & Gamble Co. and The Gillette Co.
“I have been working my whole career in consumer products, and was looking for a new opportunity where I could build on that expertise. It seemed a great fit to be able to do that [at Timex]. I’ve worked on a lot of iconic brands, and I have a lot of experience in expanding them globally,” said Cohen.
He hopes to draw on this expansion experience. Cohen has spent the last month travelling to various Timex locations, and just returned from India. “Timex does have an international presence, but I think it has the potential to be a global brand,” he said.
Cohen also hopes to fine-tune the brands’ larger marketing strategies. “They have a functional heritage, and strong equity in terms of making good products. There’s a huge opportunity to add an emotional connection with the consumer… and a huge opportunity to bring new innovative products and communication platforms, and to have a little more focus on big consumer segments,” he said.
Reflecting on how he would harness his previous background in his new role at Timex, Cohen said, “In every category I’ve worked in, there is a different challenge. With shaving, it was a tech-driven category, sun care was very seasonal and fast-paced. I see this as no different…it’s the same task — understanding the consumer, and bringing them products that add value.”