Eddie Bauer to search for new CEO as Fiske steps down

Eddie Bauer CEO Neil Fiske, who led the brand through its its 2009 bankruptcy reorganization and buyout, plus spearheaded the brand’s efforts to return to its core outdoor roots, is stepping down from the position, officials told SNEWS.

The man who led Eddie Bauer through its 2009 bankruptcy reorganization and buyout, plus spearheaded the brand’s efforts to return to its core outdoor roots, is stepping down from the CEO position, officials told SNEWS.

Neil Fiske will leave the brand's top post March 2, after serving nearly five years as CEO. He will stay on with the company as a consultant through a transition period. The company named Eddie Bauer Executive Chairman David Chamberlain as Interim CEO while its board searches for a new CEO.

Chamberlain said the board is committed to continuing in the direction Fiske took the company, with “a sharp focus on the modern outdoor enthusiast” through its First Ascent and Sport Shop Collection lines.

“We have great respect for Neil and appreciate everything he’s accomplished at Eddie Bauer. He returned the brand to its core strengths and heritage: ‘guide tested and trusted,’” Chamberlain said in a statement.

Soon after joining Eddie Bauer in 2007, Fiske outlined his redirection for the company, which at that time was coming off its first bankruptcy reorganization in 2005. The economic crisis put the company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy again in June 2009 as it struggled to pay its debt. Private Equity firm Golden Gate Capital bought out the company at auction later that year and continues to own the brand.

Also in 2009, Eddie Bauer launched its First Ascent line, a realization of Fiske’s strategy to focus more on the core outdoor market.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished over the past four and a half years at Eddie Bauer,” Fiske said in a statement. “We have re-connected the brand to its heritage and built a strong platform from which the company can grow.”

Neale Attenborough, a member of Eddie Bauer’s board of directors and an operating partner at Golden Gate Capital, described the business as “profitable and well capitalized,” adding that the private equity firm remains committed to the brand.

--David Clucas



Vibram CEO Tony Post to step down

First Keen, then Eddie Bauer, now Vibram USA, Inc. — CEOs of outdoor companies are leaving left and right. Last week Tony Post, CEO of Vibram USA Inc., announced he would be stepping down as CEO, effective in July. Stepping into his shoes will be Mike Gionfriddo, Vibram’s current ...read more

Outdoor financials: Merrell's double-digit revenue growth contributes to Wolverine Q1 results, plus Forbes' CEO compensation ranking, Johnson Outdoors, Amer Sports, Oakley, Eddie Bauer

Merrell's double-digit revenue growth contributes to Wolverine Q1 resultsFirst-quarter profit for Wolverine World Wide (NYSE: WWW) rose 22 percent on strong results from across its brands, which include Merrell and Sebago shoes. First-quarter earnings climbed to $19.6 million, or ...read more

Eddie Bauer caught in Spiegel Ch. 11 filing

Eddie Bauer's parent company, the Spiegel Group, has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Its financial woes are a result of declining sales and a draining credit-card division. Debbie Koopman, vice ...read more

Outdoor financials: Eddie Bauer's Q3 loss grows

Eddie Bauer's Q3 loss grows Eddie Bauer Holdings (Nasdaq: EBHI) reported a third-quarter loss, primarily driven by a $19.2 million non-cash change. Net loss for the quarter ended Sept. 27 was $18.6 million, or a loss of $0.61 per share, compared to a loss of $16.4 million, or a ...read more