Neiman Marcus Group on Tuesday confirmed to Retail Dive that Chief Financial Officer Adam Orvos is leaving the company to join another "as a natural progression in his career." He will stay through Oct. 11 and assist in a transition plan, the company said in an email. He leaves less than 18 months after he took the job.
Also on Tuesday, the department store announced the appointment of Lana Todorovich to president and chief merchandising officer, "responsible for driving the brand's innovative merchandising offerings," which are key to its strategic plan, and reporting to CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck, according to a company press release.
Todorovich is a seasoned merchant who most recently was president of North America wholesale at Ralph Lauren. She's also had stints as president of women's apparel at Global Brands Group, president at Perry Ellis International and in leadership at Warnaco's Calvin Klein.
The chief finance position at Neiman Marcus Group has been rattled by a revolving door, at a time when the company's debt level has frustrated its turnaround.
Orvos arrived last April to take over from chief accounting officer Dale Stapleton, who had temporarily stepped into the role last year when then-interim chief financial officer and chief operating officer Michael Fung left after a mere seven months. Fung himself had taken over from Donald Grimes, who had only been in the role for 17 months.
The company's debt load of some $4.5 billion got in the way of merger deals and a plan to go public, among other efforts, but executives earlier this year said that it's garnered some relief, in the form of a deal with lenders that extends term loan maturities by a couple of years to 2023 and 2024. As a private company, Neiman was able to "go dark" in June because its public reporting requirements were tied to its debt, which was renegotiated earlier this year.
Before it went dark, the department store said that third quarter total revenues fell to $1.06 billion from $1.17 billion a year ago as comparable sales fell 1.5% year over year, after a 7.3% gain a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA fell to $126.5 million from $143.8 million the year before, and net loss reached $31.2 million, topping the year-ago period's $19.9 million net loss.
But its struggles are more than financial, and that's where Todorovich comes in. Neiman has suffered a series of merchandising missteps, stemming in part from slower fashion cycles from certain designers, van Raemdonck said in June. "Over the last 12 to 18 months in luxury, the brands with a really strong point of view have done very very well," he told analysts, noting that the retailer's customer base, while loyal, has high expectations for an exclusive assortment and personalized service. "That's really the way to compete ... giving the customer what they want in a more unique manner."
In a statement on Tuesday, van Raemdonck said that Todorovich is a "perfect fit" for the company. "Lana's depth of experience will help elevate the Neiman Marcus brand for customers, brand partners and our associates," he said.