That Tommy Bahama, an upscale resort-wear brand, calls Seattle home has always been a bit of a curiosity, especially with a chief executive...
That Tommy Bahama, an upscale resort-wear brand, calls Seattle home has always been a bit of a curiosity, especially with a chief executive based on the East Coast.
But now, its CEO also will call Seattle home.
Parent company Oxford Industries said Thursday retail-industry veteran Terry Pillow will step in when Tommy Bahama’s New York-based CEO of 15 years, Tony Margolis, retires June 1.
Pillow, who lives in New York, said he’ll move to Seattle as soon as possible with his wife and son to oversee a staff of 250 at the company’s South Lake Union headquarters.
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Pillow, 54, becomes only the second CEO since Margolis helped start Tommy Bahama in the early 1990s.
“I just hope to continue what has been built,” Pillow said. Tommy Bahama “is one of the most respected brands in the industry, and I’m very proud to be associated with it at this point in my career.”
Pillow’s 30-year career includes previous stints at Neiman Marcus, A/X Armani Exchange, Coach and Polo Ralph Lauren. His most recent job was as CEO of Ralph Lauren Footwear, a position he held from 2001 to 2006.
Also on June 1, Tommy Bahama’s chief operating officer, Doug Wood, will take on a second role as president.
Margolis was a sales executive with Seattle’s Generra in the 1980s when he began envisioning a new apparel line based on a fictional guy who had more than enough money to plant himself on the beach and never return to work.
In 1992, he and Bob Emfield, also in sales at Generra, enlisted Lucio Dalla Gasperina, a longtime clothing designer then at Unionbay in Seattle, to create the Tommy Bahama line.
For the past 15 years, all three have presided over Tommy Bahama’s growth into a $450-million-a-year business — Margolis as CEO in New York, Emfield in Minneapolis, and Dalla Gasperina in South Lake Union.
After his June 1 retirement, Margolis, 65, will assume a new role as chairman of the Tommy Bahama advisory board.
In a statement, executive vice president Dalla Gasperina said he’ll help Pillow through the transition, which he expects will be “smooth and easy.”
Last month, Oxford Industries warned that its 2008 profit probably will be lower than Wall Street had expected.
The Atlanta company, which also owns the Oxford Apparel and Ben Sherman brands, blamed sales declines in those two businesses, as well as increased marketing costs at Tommy Bahama associated with two new restaurant-and-retail compounds and the introduction of sales on its Web site.
Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or firstname.lastname@example.org