PPR PROMOTES: Patricia Barbizet, a woman often described as Francois Pinault’s right hand, has been named chairman of Pinault-Printemps-Redoute’s supervisory board. Barbizet, who is also chief executive officer of Artemis, Pinault’s family holding company and the controlling shareholder of the PPR retail conglomerate, succeeds Rene de La Serre. La Serre asked the board to be relieved of his duties, but he will continue as chairman of PPR’s audit committee. Barbizet, 46, one of the first women ever to graduate from the prestigious French business school Ecole Superiere de Commerce de Paris, moved up the ranks at Renault before joining Pinault 13 years ago.

WAGE WATCHER: The U.S. Senate has confirmed Tammy D. McCutchen as the U.S. Department of Labor’s new Wage & Hour administrator. In that post, McCutchen will oversee the enforcement of federal minimum wage and overtime laws, record keeping and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. McCutchen has been a senior counsel for Hershey Foods Corp., where she provided counsel on labor and employment matters involving Hershey’s 15,000 employees at corporate offices and 22 manufacturing plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

MOVING UP AT JONES: Jones Apparel Group on Wednesday promoted three senior manufacturing and distribution officials. Ronald Harrison, previously senior vice president of production, was named executive vice president of domestic manufacturing. Martin Marlowe, who had been senior vice president of foreign manufacturing, was named executive vice president over that area. John Sammaritano, formerly senior vice president of distribution, was made executive vice president for that responsibility. Senior vice president Anita Britt said the moves were a recognition of the roles the three executives have played in the growth of Jones. They have a combined tenure of 56 years with the company.

Lauder Revises Downward: The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. expects a downward swing of 3 to 5 percent in net sales during its second fiscal quarter of 2002, which ends Dec. 31. The company previously estimated that net sales would increase between 2 and 3 percent compared with the same period last year, but now expects sales to fall 1 percent to 2 percent on a constant currency basis. The revision is due primarily to significant inventory contraction by U.S. retailers, according to the company, which now anticipates earnings per diluted share to be roughly 35 to 37 cents. While retail sell-through remains positive, according to president and chief executive Fred H. Langhammer, “it is clear that U.S. retailers are taking a very conservative stance as they enter 2002.”

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