RITE AID INDICTMENTS: Three former executives of Rite Aid Corp. were indicted Friday for allegedly inflating the firm’s profits by $1.6 billion in the late Nineties, according to reports. Martin Grass, Franklin Brown and Franklyn Bergonzi — all former senior executives — were among those charged under the 37-count federal indictment. Eric Sorkin, executive vice president of pharmacy services, was charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements to a grand jury. Additionally, Rite Aid reported on Friday that it entered into a cease and desist order with the Securities and Exchange Commission, completing an investigation into its financial reporting and accounting practices under former management. The firm will pay no fine under the settlement, in which it neither admitted to nor denied any of the SEC’s findings.

This story first appeared in the June 24, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

PINAULT’S PLAN: French tycoon Francois Pinault, who controls Italy’s Gucci Group through retailer Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, drew a will last year that splits control of his Financiere Pinault holding company equally between his three children — Laurence, Francois-Henri and Dominique — according to a report in the French financial daily Les Echos. Financiere Pinault is the holding company through which Pinault, 66, controls all of his business interests and investments. The paper also reported that Pinault paid about $427.5 million in taxes for 2000 and 2001.

CHAIRING FILENE’S: William K. Gingerich will become chairman of Filene’s, the Boston-based department store division of The May Department Stores Co., on Sept. 1. Gingerich succeeds J. Kent McHose, who is retiring Aug. 30 after a 29-year career with May Co. As reported, May Co., based in St. Louis, is merging its Pittsburgh-based Kaufmann’s division into Filene’s. Tom Kingsbury is Filene’s president and chief executive. Gingerich, 52, joined May Co. in 1984 as controller for Kaufmann’s, where he was steadily promoted. Among his jobs, he was senior vice president of finance, senior vice president and assistant to the president, and finally, chairman in 1999. McHose, 64, joined May Co. in 1973 as vice president of corporate accounting.

FERRE CHIEF: Enrico Mambelli has been named chief executive officer at Gianfranco Ferre SpA. Mambelli, who was nominated general manager at Ferre last month, succeeds Roland Bohler. Mambelli was previously general manager at Cerruti Group.

A PEOPLES PRESIDENT: Eyewear firm Oliver Peoples has named William Barton as its new president. He takes over the position from Robert Fiddler, the company’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer, who has also served as president for the last three years. Barton will oversee the wholesale division of Oliver Peoples, which includes operations at its store on Madison Avenue in New York. Prior to joining Oliver Peoples, Barton spent 17 years at Optical Shop of Aspen, a retail and wholesale eyewear firm.

VAL’S NEW DEAL: Valentino revealed Saturday it has plans to launch a beach wear and innerwear collection for spring/summer 2003, produced by Albisetti. “We expect sales of about $30 million from this line in the next three years,” projected Michele Norsa, Valentino’s chief executive officer. At the same time, the house announced it has terminated a license with Hemmond for the production and distribution of Valentino jeans.”

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