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Madewell names first CEO


Madewell names first CEO

By Kristopher Fraser

Apr 4, 2019

J. Crew Group has confirmed that Libby Wadle, president of Madewell, has been promoted to CEO. The news was reported by Retail Dive. Wadle has served as president of Madewell since 2013, and this marks the first time the company has had a CEO.

Madewell has become the star of J. Crew Group's portfolio ever since J. Crew has been on a consistent and steady decline. The brand's turnaround plan doesn't appear to be working, and they are currently without a CEO. No one appears to be lining up to captain what looks like a sinking ship either.

Madewell has been what's keeping J. Crew Group afloat, and according to a statement by the company, it's thanks to Wadle's leadership and expertise that Madewell is on track to become a billion dollar business. Thankfully something is going well at J. Crew, because they are not in the money. The retailer is still straddled with 1.7 billion dollars in debt and is down to 25.7 million dollars in cash.

The company is looking at other options for debt restructuring even after their debt swap scheme last year was approved. While J. Crew would like to revive their signature label, it appears they are much better off further investing in Madewell's growth, as that has proven to be the cash cow, with sales in the recent quarter rising to 157.9 million as reported by Retail Dive.

J. Crew's executive team isn't looking too bright either. CEO James Brett left in November after less than a year, as his efforts to turn the company around floundered. Former chairman and CEO Mickey Drexler also left the company in January. The company did recently appoint Chris Benz as head of women's design, so hopefully he will be able to create some designs to turn the company around.