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Iconix CEO and founder resigns

Published
today Sep 4, 2015
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Epochal change at Iconix. The US group, owner of 35 brands and notable for the acquisition in recent years of Lee Cooper and Umbro, has announced the resignation of its CEO and founder. 


Neil Cole has left Iconix Brand Group


Neil Cole will remain with the group until September 30th, to ensure a smooth transition. He's replaced by Peter Cuneo, who becomes Board Chairman and CEO ad interim. Cuneo knows the group well, having been a member of the Board since 2006.

Neil Cole founded Iconix Brand in 2005. He relied on a business model whereby he licensed the brands' production and distribution to industrialists or retailers, but kept control of the marketing element. The idea first took hold in 1993, when the management team at the time acquired underwear brand Candie's, then the Bongo brand in 1998. With further acquisitions, Neil Cole saw the opportunity of creating a group of brands. He first developed the concept in the US, chiefly with Macy’s, Kohl’s, Kmart and Target, before expanding it internationally.

Iconix therefore initially relied on American brands, before acquiring, from 2007 onwards, brands with a more global appeal, such as Rocawear, Starter and Ecko. It recently took over Lee Cooper and Umbro, as well as the US rights to Pony. The group explained that, at 58 years of age, Cole has left to face new challenges. Last spring, the group already had to deal with the departures of CFO Jeff Lupinacci and Operations Director Seth Horowitz.

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