CONNOLLY’S E-SHIFT

Byline: Lisa Lockwood

NEW YORK — More shakeups are happening at Tommy Hilfiger.
Peter Connolly, who, as president of global marketing, wielded considerable influence with Hilfiger, is being reassigned to the company’s online operation, Tommy.com.
Connolly, who assumed his most recent post last year, joined Hilfiger in March 1997 as senior vice president and was named executive vice president of marketing in May 1998. He will assume his new responsibilities as president of Tommy.com immediately, but will continue in his marketing post until a successor is found.
Connolly was responsible for the various marketing initiatives and advertising campaigns for the past three years, and was also the point man for Hilfiger’s two ad agencies, Deutsch Inc. and Kirshenbaum, Bond & Partners.
“I didn’t want to leave my job, but this is an exciting new venue. With our brand, anything you can imagine [on the Web] can happen,” Connolly told WWD.
As reported, Hilfiger’s business, after a meteroric rise, has stalled and the company is currently consolidating divisions, closing its two flagship stores in Beverly Hills and London, laying off personnel and rethinking its business strategies, including marketing and advertising. Rather than make any major acquisitions, the company plans to concentrate its energies on reviving the core Tommy Hilfiger brand in women’s and men’s. As for its image, the company will leave the edgy rocker world behind and return to its all-American roots.
Tommy.com was launched last December and is currently used as a marketing tool for the brand. Connolly’s new role will be to enhance the online content and explore a variety of strategic partnerships. It is considering adding e-commerce at some point in the future.
Connolly continues to report to Joel Horowitz, chief executive officer of Hilfiger.
Prior to joining Hilfiger, Connolly was senior vice president of marketing at Polo/Ralph Lauren Corp. Before that, he was vice president of marketing at NBC, and earlier served as head of marketing for Ikea North America.