- Neiman Marcus Group confirmed to Retail Dive on Tuesday that Chief Financial Officer Adam Orvos will be leaving the company to join another "as a natural progression in his career." He will stay through Oct. 11 and assist in a transition plan, the company said in an email. He leaves less than 18 months after he took the job.
- The department store Tuesday also announced the appointment of Lana Todorovich to president and chief merchandising officer. She will be "responsible for driving the brand's innovative merchandising offerings," which are key to its strategic plan, and reporting to CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck, according to a company press release.
- Todorovich, a seasoned merchant who most recently presided over North America wholesale at Ralph Lauren, has also had stints as president of women's apparel at Global Brands Group, president at Perry Ellis International and in leadership at Warnaco's Calvin Klein.
At a time when Neiman Marcus's debt level has frustrated its turnaround, the CFO position has proved impossible to permanently fill.
Orvos arrived last April to take over from Chief Accounting Officer Dale Stapleton, who temporarily stepped into the role last year when then-interim CFO and COO Michael Fung left after seven months. Fung himself had taken over from Donald Grimes, who had been in the role for 17 months.
The company's debt load of about $4.5 billion got in the way of merger deals and a plan to go public, among other efforts, but executives this year said it's garnered some relief in the form of a deal with lenders that extends term loan maturities by a couple of years to 2023 and 2024. Neiman, a private company, was able to "go dark" in June because its public reporting requirements were tied to its debt, which was renegotiated this year.
Before it went dark, the department store said third-quarter total revenues fell to $1.06 billion from $1.17 billion a year earlier as comparable sales fell 1.5% year over year, after a 7.3% gain a year ago. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization fell to $126.5 million from $143.8 million the year before, and net loss reached $31.2 million, topping the year-ago period's $19.9 million net loss.
But its struggles are more than financial, and that's where Todorovich comes in. Neiman has suffered a series of merchandising missteps, stemming in part from slower fashion cycles from certain designers, van Raemdonck said in June. "Over the last 12 to 18 months in luxury, the brands with a really strong point of view have done very, very well," he told analysts, noting that the retailer's customer base, while loyal, has high expectations for an exclusive assortment and personalized service. "That's really the way to compete ... giving the customer what they want in a more unique manner."
Van Raemdonck, in a statement Tuesday, called Todorovich a "perfect fit" for the company. "Lana's depth of experience will help elevate the Neiman Marcus brand for customers, brand partners and our associates," he said.