Coach‘s executive shuffle is the latest sign the luxury handbag maker aspires to be more than its namesake brand.
The company on Thursday said it has brought in former Bergdorf Goodman president Joshua Schulman as president and CEO of the Coach brand. As part of the shakeup, Ian Bickley, president of the Coach brand’s international group, was promoted to president, global business development and strategic alliances. Both are new roles.
In his new position, Bickley’s responsibilities will include the “further development” of Coach’s multi-brand strategy, according to a news release.
The announcement comes just days after Reuters reported that competitor Kate Spade is considering an offer from Coach. A Coach spokeswoman told CNBC that the company has a long-standing policy of not commenting on rumors and speculation.
“Coach, Inc. is now better positioned to continue its journey as a global house of brands,” CEO Victor Luis said in a statement. “Ian’s new appointment, together with the addition of Joshua Schulman to our seasoned group of leaders, will enable the company to focus on strategic and long-term growth opportunities across brands and businesses.”
While Coach has not confirmed its interest in Kate Spade, it hasn’t been shy about its ambitions to become a house of global brands. That has caused many in the industry to draw a parallel between its goals and the operations at LVMH. Led by Bernard Arnault, that French conglomerate owns brands including Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs.
After several years of declining sales and store closures, Coach in January reported its first quarterly sales increase in more than two years. It was helped by its acquisition of footwear label Stuart Weitzman.
Schulman will step into his role June 5, while Bickley’s promotion is effective July 2. Both will report to Luis.