This story first appeared in the January 15, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

  • DE SOLE’S DOUGH: Gucci president and chief executive Domenico De Sole’s pockets got a bit heavier this month. He made $4.57 million by exercising another batch of his stock options. The Amsterdam stock market regulator reported that De Sole bought 71,000 shares at $20.88 and sold them later that day for $85.30. De Sole took home $970,080 in a similar stock option trading transaction on Nov. 17.

  • MR. CHAIRMAN: Arnold Zetcher, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Talbots, was elected to a two-year term as National Retail Federation chairman, during the NRF’s 93rd Annual Convention and Expo in New York on Wednesday. Zetcher replaces Gordon Segal, ceo of Crate & Barrel, who has been board chairman since 2002. Zetcher is one of the most enduring ceo’s of a major retailer. He joined Talbots as president in 1987 and assumed the title of ceo in 1988 and chairman in 2000.

  • TAFFET UP: Ronnie Taffet has been named vice president of public relations for Federated Corporate Marketing, reporting to Peter Sachse, president and chief marketing officer. Taffet was vice president of public relations, publicity and visitor services for Macy’s East, a division of Federated Department Stores. Federated said Taffet’s new job is a new post geared to maximize the Macy’s brand, and that she will be responsible for all national marketing-based public relations efforts for Macy’s and the divisions that are hyphenated with the Macy’s name, such as Burdines-Macy’s. She will spearhead national charitable events and cause-related programs such as the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign and United Way, as well as visitor center programs. Taffet also will report to Martine Reardon, executive vice president of marketing at Macy’s East on emergency issues. She began her retail career with Macy’s in 1981 as director of special events.

  • M&S WOES: Marks & Spencer Group plc said clothing and footwear sales for the 15 weeks ended Jan. 10 were down 3.3 percent and that its director of clothing, David Norgrove, has resigned. The worst hit area was women’s wear. Although the figure was not separately disclosed, sources in London said sales might have been down by as much as 10 percent, although the company would not confirm this. Norgrove will step down “in due course” while his replacement is sought. Debenham’s newly ousted chief executive, Belinda Earl, and New Look’s current chief executive, Stephen Sunnucks, have been cited as possible replacements.