Juicy Couture's CEO ready to depart

Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Following last month's upheaval, when Fifth & Pacific Co. Inc sold Juicy Couture to the Authentic Brands Group for 195 million dollars, Paul Blum, chief executive officer at Juicy Couture, revealed his decision to take leave of the company from the 31st of January 2014.

He joined the Juicy Couture team almost one year ago as CEO and was hired to help bring around a series of company changes, including global expansion and stronger brand marketing. Blum previously worked at Kenneth Cole Productions Inc where he stayed for 15 years, taking on a number of roles before he was taken on at David Yurman, designer jewelry company, as CEO. Later he would return to Cole Productions, first as vice chairman and ultimately taking on the role of CEO before leaving to join Juicy Couture.

Paul Blum to leave Juicy Couture after a year at the helm

Blum's replacement has yet to be found but a choice will be made in the next coming weeks, stated Jamie Salter CEO at the Authentic Brands Group. He told WWD that Blum was “an incredible transition guy. He'll stay and make sure fall and holiday product is in good order for the licensees to order in January.” His exit from the company comes not long after the departure of Juicy Couture’s former president and creative director, Leann Nealz, who left in 2010 after two years.

In a recent interview at Juicy Couture head office, Blum said that it had been "a great year for me personally and professionally." He added that "it was a great experience working with Bill McComb and Fifth & Pacific, and taking over where LeAnn Nealz really left off. The brand had some good creative momentum and there was a good business opportunity. There was a lot of low hanging fruit."

CEO at Fifth & Pacific, William L. McComb, also told WWD, “In the year he has been with us, Paul charted a new course for Juicy Couture and led his team toward global growth through line extensions, improved marketing with a focus on digital and social media, omnichannel retailing and licensing... with the sale to Authentic Brands Group, however, Paul determined it was time to move on.”

Fifth & Pacific also agreed to an early discontinuation of its Juicy Couture flagship store rental today, in exchange for 51 million dollars, according to sources at Reuters. The ending of the lease is expected to occur sometimes within the first part of 2014, when the flagship store will close down. This news follows Authentic Brands Group recent announcement to introduce the Juicy Couture brand to Kohl's department stores across the US, starting in fall 2014.

Photos: Paul Blum, Campaign Ad from Juicy Couture FW 2013