Mark Lee has swung the ax again at Barneys New York Inc.
This story first appeared in the February 9, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Michael Celestino, executive vice president of store operations and a 20-year veteran of the store, was dismissed on Monday, according to sources.
Kevin Dyson, senior vice president and general manager of Barneys’ Madison Avenue flagship, has stepped up to replace Celestino. “Kevin will assume responsibility for all store operations including flagship, Co-op and outlet stores, restaurant operations and the warehouse sale,” said a Barneys spokeswoman. “Kevin brings with him 21 years of store-line experience for Barneys New York.” She added that Celestino left the company to pursue other opportunities.
Celestino was part of the committee of seven executive vice presidents that ran Barneys during the two-year stretch it operated without a chief executive officer until the arrival of Lee last fall. Celestino was on the front lines in the stores, talking to managers and sales associates daily, trying to motivate them and help compensate for the lack of a ceo. He was instrumental in the rollout of Barneys stores around the country during Howard Socol’s tenure as Barneys’ ceo, and was a proponent of opening Fred’s restaurants and cautiously adding warehouse sales.
Only three executive vice presidents on the committee remain now: Vince Phelan, chief financial officer; Marc Perlowitz, general counsel, human resources and real estate, and Tom Kalenderian, general merchandise manager of men’s and Chelsea Passage.
The three other executive vice presidents who recently left are David New, creative services; Karl Hermanns, marketing and advertising, and Judy Collinson, general merchandise manager of women’s.
Simon Doonan, former creative director, is being phased out with the title creative ambassador at large. Doonan was not a member of the committee of seven.
Also recently dismissed was Steven Ho, the designer buyer for key luxury labels including Lanvin and Balenciaga.
But ceo Lee has been rebuilding the team. He hired Dennis Freedman as creative director to succeed Doonan; Daniella Vitale, chief merchant and executive vice president overseeing all women’s and barneys.com, replacing Collinson, and Amanda Brooks, fashion director, succeeding Julie Gilhart.