June 17 will mark the end of an era for Oxford Industries Inc.
J. Hicks Lanier, who had been with the company for over half a century and was its chief executive officer for 35 of those years, will retire from the board when his current term expires at the annual shareholders meeting on June 17. Thomas C. Chubb 3rd, Oxford’s current chief executive officer and president and a member of the board, is expected to succeed Lanier as chairman.
“Hicks’ tenure at Oxford has been truly remarkable,” said E. Jenner Wood 3rd, presiding director of Oxford’s board. “He expertly navigated the company through times of challenge and change. It was Hicks who conceived and executed Oxford’s fundamental strategy to migrate from its historical roots as a private label manufacturer to what it is now — a company that stands firmly on the foundation of its own, well-known lifestyle brands. This strategy is at the heart of the success Oxford enjoys today.”
Lanier retired as ceo of Oxford on Dec. 31, 2012 when he was 72 and passed the reins to Chubb. The Atlanta-based Oxford, which had sales last year of $997.8 million, started life as a small men’s and boys’ shirts and slacks manufacturer and was purchased in 1941 by brothers Tommy, Sartain and Hicks Lanier. At that time, it was a manufacturing powerhouse, supplying retailers such as J.C. Penney and Sears with commodity private label and branded apparel that it produced in its 45 factories in the South. But today, Oxford has morphed into a design, sourcing and manufacturing company that owns such well-known labels as Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer. J. Hicks Lanier is Sartain’s son. He is credited with planting the seeds for the repositioning in the late Nineties.
“I have had the privilege of being part of this wonderful company for the past 51 years,” Lanier said. “As I reflect on it all, I am especially grateful for the honor of serving alongside the exceptional people — past and present — whose talent, dedication and integrity have fashioned Oxford into the terrific company it is today.”
Lanier said he is “delighted” that Chubb will step into the role of chairman. “Tom has served as our ceo since my retirement from that position in 2012, and a great deal of Oxford’s success is attributable to his leadership, his vision and his countless other contributions during his 25 years with the company.”
Chubb cited Lanier’s “integrity, leadership and strategic acumen” and said he “remains steadfastly committed to the fundamental principle Hicks championed — to deliver long-term, sustainable value for our shareholders.”