Saks Announces Planned Exit of Chairman & CEO and President & Chief Merchant Following Merger with Hudson's Bay Company
Retailer Saks Incorporated announced that upon completion of the Merger (as defined in the Merger Agreement) with Hudson's Bay Company, both Stephen I. Sadove, Chairman and CEO of Saks, and Ronald L. Frasch, President and Chief Merchant of Saks, would be leaving the Company.
Donald Hess, Lead Director of Saks' Board of Directors, commented, "Steve and Ron have been a great team over the last nine years. They are admired and respected throughout both the Company and the retail industry. Their leadership, strategic focus, collaboration, creativity, and enthusiasm for the business have molded Saks into an iconic omni-channel luxury retailer. Together, they have created an exceptional management team, a special company culture, and a distinct fashion point of view. Through their leadership, the whole is truly so much greater than the sum of the parts."
Sadove and Frasch jointly commented, "Saks has a great team, and working together, we have all accomplished so much over the last several years. We have developed and executed focused merchandising, marketing and service strategies. We survived the recession and emerged a stronger, more disciplined organization. We have continued to modernize the Saks brand and elevate and differentiate our merchandise assortments. Our marketing efforts have become even more strategic and targeted, and our brand and image marketing is among the best in the industry. We have elevated our service levels and demonstrated our commitment to giving and to our communities through our very special charity affiliations. We have strengthened our balance sheet and improved our real estate. We have built a powerful saks.com business and transformed Saks OFF 5TH into an aggressive growth story. And, through key technology enhancements, innovative thinking and collaboration, our evolution to an omni-channel retailer has been a game changer."
Sadove and Frasch continued, "We have best-in-class talent, fashion and style authority, great vendor partnerships, and a record of innovation. We are extremely proud of the legacy that we are leaving to HBC."
The planned merger transaction between Saks and HBC has been approved by each company's board of directors and is expected to close before the end of the calendar year, subject to approval by Saks shareholders and other customary closing conditions.
About Stephen I. Sadove, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
In January 2002, Steve Sadove joined the management team of Saks Incorporated as Vice Chairman. In March 2004, he assumed the additional post of Chief Operating Officer of the Company, and in January 2006 he assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer. In May 2007, he assumed his current position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Saks Incorporated.
Sadove serves on the Company's Board of Directors, a position he has held since September 1998. Sadove also served on the board of Saks Holdings, Inc. from 1996 until its September 1998 merger with the Company.
Prior to joining the Company, Sadove built a distinguished marketing and consumer products career spanning over 25 years. Between 1975 and 1991, Sadove held various positions of increasing responsibility with General Foods USA, including Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Desserts Division.
Sadove joined Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in 1991 as President of Clairol. In 1994, he was appointed President, Worldwide Clairol, having direct responsibility for the Clairol business in the United States as well as all of the consumer businesses in Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. In 1996, he was appointed to the post of President, Bristol-Myers Squibb Worldwide Beauty Care, with responsibility for Clairol Worldwide and Matrix Essentials. In 1997, he was appointed President, Bristol-Myers Squibb Worldwide Beauty Care and Nutritionals, adding Mead Johnson Nutritionals to his duties.
During his tenure at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sadove led Clairol to become the number one hair care business in the United States, relaunched the Herbal Essences brand into a $700 million business, and completed the sale of the beauty care business to Procter & Gamble for approximately $5 billion.
Sadove is a graduate of Hamilton College and holds an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. He currently serves on the board of directors of Colgate-Palmolive and Ruby Tuesday. Sadove also serves as Chairman of the Boards of the National Retail Federation and Hamilton College.
About Ronald L. Frasch, President and Chief Merchandising Officer
Ronald Frasch was named President and Chief Merchandising Officer of Saks Fifth Avenue in February 2007. He joined the Company in January 2004 and served in a non-executive role through November 2004 when he was named Vice Chairman and Chief Merchant of Saks Fifth Avenue.
Frasch served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Neiman Marcus Group's Bergdorf Goodman from April 2000 until January 2004. He was President of GFT USA from July 1996 until March 2000 and President and Chief Executive Officer of Escada USA from February 1994 until June 1996. Prior to that, he spent ten years at Neiman Marcus in various merchandising roles of increasing responsibility, rising to Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager. Prior to joining Neiman Marcus, Frasch was a divisional merchandise manager with Saks Fifth Avenue.
The information contained in this press release that addresses future results or expectations is considered "forward-looking" information within the definition of the Federal securities laws. Forward-looking information in this document can be identified through the use of words such as "may," "will," "intend," "plan," "project," "expect," "anticipate," "should," "would," "believe," "estimate," "contemplate," "possible," and "point." The forward-looking information is premised on many factors, some of which are outlined below. Actual consolidated results might differ materially from projected forward-looking information.