Iconix CEO Resigns
Iconix Brand Group CEO John Haugh resigned Friday, returning Executive Chairman Peter Cuneo to the interim chief executive role for the second time in three years. Cuneo previously replaced Neil Cole in August 2015 and served until Haugh was hired a year later.
Under Haugh, Iconix began restructuring its portfolio of more than 30 brands. It sold Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake to DHX Media for $345 million in 2017 (Inside Licensing May 10, 2017) and Sharper Image to ThreeSixty Group in 2016 (Inside Licensing Jan. 5, 2017). The company was challenged by the loss of several long-time DTRs at Walmart (Danskin, Ocean Pacific, Starter) and Target (Mossimo). But, at the same time, Iconix relaunched the Starter brand on Amazon and regained some distribution for Ocean Pacific as part of a collection jointly designed with Urban Outfitters.
The management change also comes as Iconix faces increasing pressure from shareholder Sports Direct, which owns a 9% stake in the company. Sports Direct recently submitted a slate of four nominees for election to Iconix board at the annual shareholders meeting later this year.
“The Iconix Board regularly evaluates leadership to ensure that we have the right mix of skills and experience in place to drive growth and value creation for all of our stockholders,” Iconix Lead Independent Director Drew Cohen said in a statement. “As we continue to work diligently to build a platform for sustainable growth that fully capitalizes on the strength of our global brand portfolio, the Board is committed to putting in place a strong leadership team that is able to successfully execute on these goals.
Iconix Brand Group, David Jones, Chief Financial Officer, 212-730-0030