Wacoal America reveals CEO transition plan
Wacoal America, Inc., the American subsidiary of Japanese lingerie company Wacoal, announced on Tuesday that it has named Mitch Kauffman as its new president and CEO, roles in which he will succeed Bob Vitale, who is leaving the group after more than two decades.
Kauffman is taking over from Vitale as president effective immediately but will only take on the position of CEO in March 2020, following a transition period during which Kauffman will continue to serve in the role, offering guidance and advice to his successor.
Vitale’s career at Wacoal America spans 22 years, seven of which have been spent in his current role of CEO.
Kauffman has been promoted from the position of vice president of sales and marketing, a role in which he has served since September 2018, having first joined Wacoal America as VP of sales in 2016.
Prior to this, the executive, who holds a BS in economics from the University at Albany, spent more than 26 years at Maidenform before working briefly as VP of customer officer intimates for department and mid-tier stores at Hanesbrands.
“Mitch’s interaction with all departments within the company and with our key store partners has resulted in strong, trusting relationships,” commented Vitale in a release. “He is well regarded for his fair and honest dealings grounded in strong industry knowledge and for his strategic decision-making skills. He has my complete confidence and I have no doubt of the company’s continued success under his leadership.”
Looking ahead, Kauffman explained that Wacoal America’s department and specialty store business will continue to play a central role in the company’s strategy as it pushes forward with renewed marketing efforts.
The executive further highlighted the potential of Wacoal America’s international businesses in Canada and Central and South America.
As the company looks to accelerate its growth in the region, Wacoal also recently entered into a deal to acquire US-based digital-first lingerie brand Lively for $85 million.
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