Eddie Bauer names apparel veteran to be CEO
It's a homecoming of sorts for Michael Egeck, who comes to Eddie Bauer from Nike's Hurley International.
Seattle Times business reporter
Outdoor-clothing company Eddie Bauer, seeking to continue its turnaround after filing for bankruptcy in 2009, has hired a former head of youth-oriented apparel brand Hurley International as CEO.
Michael Egeck takes over for David Chamberlain, Eddie Bauer's executive chairman, who will remain a member of the company's board of directors.
Chamberlain became interim CEO in February after the departure of Neil Fiske, a turnaround expert who led Bellevue-based Eddie Bauer through its 2009 bankruptcy.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Egeck described Eddie Bauer as well-capitalized, with little debt and a senior management team focused on growing the business.
"We have a great platform to work from. Now our focus will be on superior execution that allows us to grow rapidly across the channels we're in," he said.
Egeck's appointment is a sort of a homecoming for the 53-year-old Seattle native, who has a bachelor's degree in economics and an MBA from the University of Washington.
Before briefly taking over Hurley, a Nike division, Egeck was president of True Religion Apparel from June 2010 to September 2011. For two years before that, he was president of VF Corp.'s Contemporary Brand Coalition. He also has been president of VF's North American Outdoor business, where he oversaw such brands as North Face, Reef, JanSport and Vans.
In a statement, Josh Olshansky, managing director of Golden Gate Capital, the majority owner of Eddie Bauer, praised Egeck's track record of "growing brands, delivering strong operating performance and generating excellent financial results."
No details about Egeck's compensation package were released.
Founded in 1920, Eddie Bauer has been focused on returning to its active-outdoor roots after straying in the 1990s and early 2000s under then-owner Spiegel.
"I grew up in Seattle and really grew up with this brand and have been a keen observer of it for years," Egeck said. "There was a period of time when it got away from being an authentic, active outdoor brand."
Egeck said that while "some fine-tuning" may be in order, the company is back on track and in a "solid" position.
Golden Gate, a San Francisco private-equity firm, won a bankruptcy-court auction with a $286 million cash bid for Eddie Bauer in 2009, allowing the clothing-store chain to start over as a privately held company. Eddie Bauer employs about 500 people in downtown Bellevue.
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