Heather Pech, chief executive officer of Nanette Lepore, has exited the company.

This story first appeared in the June 23, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Pech joined Lepore in 2008 as the company’s first ceo. Earlier, she was with Jones Apparel Group, rising to ceo of company-owned retail footwear and apparel, where she remained until 2007, and she previously served as president and ceo of Polo Jeans Co. Reached at home, Pech declined comment.

Pech was brought into Lepore when owners Robert Savage and Nanette Lepore started exploring the sale of the company but instead chose to bring in professional management and hired Pech. They ultimately decided to keep the $140 million company privately held.

A hard-driving executive, Pech oversaw the expansion of Lepore into several new businesses. Lepore launched a swimwear collection, licensed to Manhattan Beachwear, for cruise 2011; a footwear line, licensed to Tribeca Affiliated Brands, for spring 2011, and a handbag collection, also with Tribeca, for fall 2010. In addition, a casual knitwear-based line called Oonagh by Nanette Lepore was introduced for holiday. Nanette by Nanette Lepore fragrance, licensed to Elizabeth Arden, was shipped to retail counters in the fall, and an e-commerce site, developed by Pod 1, went live in the fall.

Savage, who has served as president and will now add the ceo title, was traveling and couldn’t be reached to discuss Pech’s departure.

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