Eileen Fisher to step down as CEO

Dive Brief:

  • Eileen Fisher will step down as CEO from her namesake fashion company, according to the retailer.
  • The company has hired executive search firm Kirk Palmer Associates to identify a new executive with the goal of having a CEO in place by the start of 2022. 
  • Fisher will stay on to focus on apparel design but eventually will transition away from that role as well.

Dive Insight:

Both Eileen Fisher the brand and Eileen Fisher the person are preparing for transitions.

Fisher was working as an interior and graphic designer when she launched her namesake company in 1984. In the decades that followed, she became known for her minimalist apparel shapes and luxurious fabrics.

Fisher has also been a consistent voice regarding issues of sustainability in the fashion industry. While many retailers are currently rolling out secondhand programs, Eileen Fisher launched a resale channel in 2009 and has taken back over 1.6 million pieces of apparel to be resold or remade into new designs. The company has also been a leader when it comes to sustainable materials and was one of the first brands to introduce wool certified to the Responsible Wool Standard.

And while Fisher may be stepping back as chief executive, she will continue to work with the design department where she will guide those efforts.

Eileen Fisher has also become known for its unique business model. Fisher herself owns 60% of the company, while its approximately 770 employees own the remainder.

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