Bruce Rockowitz has stepped down as CEO of Global Brands after the sale of the company’s North American assets was settled for US$1.2 billion in New York overnight.
Rockowitz, 59, will remain a director of the company and as its vice chairman.
The new CEO is Richard Darling, 65, who will oversee management of the remaining Global Brands business. William Fung remains chairman.
Global Brands announced in June plans to sell a large portion of its business to Differential Brands Group for $1.38 billion after a strategic review. It said at the time the sale would allow it to pay down about $1.1 billion of debt it has been carrying, much of it related to its 2014 spin-off from Li & Fung and subsequent listing. Some of the sale proceeds would be used to pay a modest special dividend to shareholders and free capital to grow “a more focused business”, the company said. It resulted in about half of its 7000 staff leaving the company.
The assets transferred include licences for Disney, Star Wars, Calvin Klein, Under Armour, Tommy Hilfiger, Bebe, Joe’s, Buffalo David Bitton, Frye, Michael Kors, Cole Haan, Kenneth Cole and the BCBG Max Azria label which it bought last year for $27.4 million after the company filed for bankruptcy.
Rockowitz joined Li & Fung as executive director in 2001 when the company bought Colby International, of which he was CEO at the time. He was president of the Li & Fung Group from 2004 to 2011, and group president and CEO of Li & Fung Group from 2011 until the Global Brands spin-off.
Outside Li & Fung, Rockowitz co-founded lifestyle and gym company Pure Group and has served as an independent non-executive director of Wynn Macau since 2009.
Darling, meanwhile, joins Global Brands from his role as executive director of LF Americas, overseeing Li & Fung’s wholesale and distribution business in the US. He serves on the board of the American Apparel & Footwear Association.
According to a Global Brands stock exchange filing, Darling will receive an annual salary of $1 million and a director’s fee of $38,000.