JALATE NAMES NEW PRESIDENT, CEO
Byline: Kristi Ellis
LOS ANGELES — Plagued by quarterly losses, Jalate Ltd. said Wednesday it had named a new president and chief executive officer to assist in a turnaround.
Vinton W. Bacon, a consultant to Jalate since July, has taken the helm of the moderate-price junior knit sportswear and dress company. He succeeds Larry Brahim, a Jalate founder, who will remain chairman and become executive vice president-sales for the firm’s Zanoni dress division. Additionally, Theodore B. Cooper, also a founder and the chief operating officer, will become executive vice president of sales for the Jalate knit sportswear division.
“When we saw what Mr. Bacon was able to accomplish as an outside consultant, it became clear that he could provide even greater benefit to Jalate, its shareholders and other constituencies as president and chief executive officer,” Brahim said in a statement.
Prior to joining Jalate, Bacon was a principal of the Sonoma Group, a management consulting firm specializing in corporate turnarounds, and earlier was chairman and ceo of Safeguard Business Systems.
The realignment comes in the wake of Jalate’s poor financial performance this year. For the third quarter ended Sept.30, the company posted a net loss of $47,000 on sales of $18.1 million, compared to income of $423,000 on sales of $17.9 million in the year-earlier period. For the nine months, it had a loss of $14,000 on sales of $55.1 million. A year earlier, it registered a profit of $2 million on sales of $51 million.
Its second-quarter results — a loss of $651,000 — forced the firm to cut 28 percent of its full-time work force leaving 126 full-time workers. The tally has since risen to 138. Brahim attributed the losses to weak retail conditions that led to lower gross margins and higher operating expenses.
He said stringent cost-control measures were being implemented as part of the downsizing. A company spokeswoman said Wednesday the firm expects to see a profitable 1996.