Byline: Evan Clark

NEW YORK — Richard Olicker has joined Steven Madden Ltd. as chief operating officer and added two individuals to its board.
Olicker reports to and, as chief operating officer, succeeds Rhonda Brown, who continues as president and director. Olicker will oversee all of Madden’s operational functions and, according to a statement, “focus his efforts on continuing to implement efficiency and expansion initiatives for the company.”
Many of his operational responsibilities were held by John Basile, who has resigned as executive vice president and director of the company to pursue other opportunities. Basile will remain as a consultant to the company. Mark Jankowski, director of product development, has taken over Basile’s production duties.
Olicker brings to Madden 18 years of experience in the footwear business including 12 years with Aerosoles. He co-founded Aerosoles and served as president of its private label division.
Brown noted that Olicker “will be able to leverage his past experience to further streamline our operations and create even more synergies and efficiencies than exist currently.”
“Importantly, his appointment will enable me to focus my efforts on strategically growing the business,” said Brown. “The increased depth and breadth of our management team will allow us to continue to build on the momentum we are experiencing.”
Additionally, in moves that underscore Madden’s growing emphasis on retailing, Heywood Wilansky, former president and chief executive of Bon Ton department stores, has been appointed to the board of directors along with Jamieson Karson, a partner in the real estate department of the Tannebaum Helpem Syracuse & Hirschtritt law firm.
Charles Koppleman, acting chairman, said, “Given Heywood’s experience and leadership in the apparel industry, the company will be able to capitalize on the relationships that he has built over the years with various retailers.
“Likewise, we stand to benefit greatly from Jamie’s legal expertise and real estate knowledge. These are skills that will prove vital to the company as a growing retail organization committed to significant bricks-and-mortar expansion,” said Koppleman.
These two new appointments and Basile’s departure increase the company’s total number of directors to nine.

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