Vera Bradley, which sells women’s handbags and other merchandise, announced a new finance chief Tuesday as the company also prepares to eliminate about two dozen corporate jobs as part of an ongoing restructuring plan.
John Enwright, who is stepping down as Vera Bradley’s CFO as a result of the reorganization, will be replaced by retail industry veteran Michael Schwindle, effective May 8, according to a press release.
As part of the restructuring effort, the company is targeting $12 million in “incremental cost reductions” for the fiscal year ending Feb. 3, 2024, the release said. The planned job cuts come on top of the company’s recent decision to eliminate a series of senior leadership roles.
Fort Wayne, Indiana-based Vera Bradley said it’s making several organizational changes in the marketing, e-commerce, product design, and product development areas that will eliminate about 25 corporate positions.
The retailer also said it plans to reduce other non-payroll costs throughout the organization, including non-working marketing expenses, third-party contracts and professional services, logistics, operational costs, and travel.
“We are committed to returning Vera Bradley and Pura Vida to profitable growth and generating strong cash flow as a company, which I believe will deliver value to our shareholders over the long term,” Jackie Ardrey, the company’s CEO, said in the release.
Last month, Vera Bradley reported net revenues of $500 million for its fiscal year ending Jan. 28, down from $540 million in the prior year.
Ardrey took over the company in November, replacing Robert Wallstrom, who retired. Within just a few months, she announced that Vera Bradley was eliminating the positions of president, chief creative officer, and chief revenue officer to streamline the company’s corporate structure.
Schwindle will join the company with over 30 years of experience, having spent more than half of that time working in finance chief roles, according to the release. Since early 2020, he has served as CFO for accessory and jewelry retailer Claire’s. Previously, he held CFO roles at specialty retailers Fleet Farm, Payless ShoeSource, Harry & David, and Musician’s Friend, in addition to serving in financial roles at Home Depot and Limited Brands. He began his career at Deloitte & Touche LLP.
Schwindle’s annual base salary will be $525,000, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by the company. Enwright will work closely with him through early June to ensure a smooth transition, the release said.