NY fashion company Fifth & Pacific changes name, CEO steps down

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Jan 10, 2014 06:04 AM EST

New York-based Fifth & Pacific Cos. chief executive William McComb has spent the past seven years streamlining the women's apparel powerhouse, selling the Liz Claiborne brand to J.C. Penney Co., finding buyers for other brands and shuttering the rest, Wall Street Journal said in a report.

Now McComb is down to just one. On Thursday, the company changed its name to Kate Spade & Co. from Fifth & Pacific to reflect its new, singular focus. The fashion company also said that McComb would leave his post, the report stated.

McComb sparked criticism in the industry for dismantling the iconic company. Now, he is leaving it with a brand that analysts view as a strong rival to Coach Inc. and Michael Kors Holdings, at a time when Kors has been one of the apparel industry's hottest stocks, WSJ said.

McComb in an interview said that his work in Fifth & Pacific is done. He will be succeeded by Craig Leavitt, the chief executive of the Kate Spade brand, the report said.   

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