NEW YORK —?With an end in sight for the recovery of Kasper ASL, speculation has heated up once again about the next career step for John Idol, its chief executive officer, once the company is sold.
Speculation continues to surface that Idol is likely to join Michael Kors LLC as its ceo, where he would be reunited with two of his former Donna Karan colleagues — Allison Ryba, interim president, and Don Witkowski, president of the collection’s men’s wear division —?who both landed at Kors since it was acquired by Lawrence Stroll and Silas Chou in January. Idol has also reportedly held conversations at Tommy Hilfiger, where Joel Horowitz has announced plans to step down as ceo.
“I have received a number of offers, but I have made no decision yet,” Idol said Monday, declining to identify the offers or comment on the Kors or Hilfiger reports. “People have requested me to join their companies, but I won’t make a final decision until this process is complete.”
Idol has already said he would resign if Kellwood Co.’s pending offer of $163 million to acquire Kasper, which is in bankruptcy protection, should prevail during a 30-day auction that will most likely begin at the end of July. If another company — such as Jones Apparel Group, which is expected to make an offer — should prevail, however, Idol could potentially choose to stick around rather than cash out under the terms of his contract.
Idol’s compensation package, as detailed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, includes a payout to him of about $11 million, roughly the same amount he received in a settlement with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton last year, following his departure from Donna Karan International in 2001.
In SEC filings last week, Kasper also said it is seeking bankruptcy court approval of standard bid protections that are typically put in place for the buyer of a company out of bankruptcy. The filings confirmed a WWD report on June 13 that the breakup fee requested in the case of Kellwood’s offer was $4 million, or less than 2.5 percent of its bid.