American luxury retailer Barneys New York has announced the appointment of Mark Lee as its new CEO.
Lee was previously Global President and CEO of fashion brand Gucci and has over 25 years’ experience in the retail industry.
Barneys confirmed today that Lee will take up the role from September 1st 2010, filling a position that was previously vacant.
Andy Watson, Chairman of Barneys and acting CEO of Istithmar World Capital, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark Lee to the business and look forward to supporting him as he takes the business forward, capitalising on his wealth of experience in the retail industry.
“The appointment marks an exciting new era for Barneys as we look to build the brand and maximise its existing strong platform for growth. We continue to believe that Barneys is a great business that is well positioned to make the most of market opportunities.”
Opening in Manhattan in 1923, Barneys started as a department store exclusively selling luxury brands and now has around 40 large outlets across the US.
The retailer was bought in 2007 by the Dubai investment firm Istithmar World Capital but was hit hard by the financial downturn and ratings agency Standards and Poor have been recently considering downgrading the company’s CCC status.
Howard Socol, the long-serving CEO of Barneys, resigned less than a year after the takeover and he was followed out the door by Istithmar World Capital CEO David Jackson earlier this year.
Watson added: “I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding job the existing management team at Barneys has done navigating the business though the unprecedented trading conditions of the global credit crisis without a CEO in place to provide additional support and leadership through such challenging times.”