J.Crew reorganizes top management and reducing headcount

J. Crew Group Inc. has reorganized its top management team and is eliminating 150 full-time and 100 open positions primarily from its corporate headquarters to save approximately $30 million annually.

The company will record a charge of approximately $10 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2017 for severance payments and other termination costs.

In its extensive reorganization of senior-level management, Michael J. Nicholson, president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of J.Crew Group will additionally assume responsibility for the J.Crew Brand which includes the planning and allocation, merchandising, marketing and design functions. He will continue to report to Millard Drexler, chairman and chief executive officer.

In addition, Lisa Greenwald has been named chief merchandising officer of the J.Crew Brand to oversee merchandising across J. Crew women's, men's, and crewcuts. Most recently, she was senior vice president of merchandising for Madewell. Greenwald will now report to Nicholson.

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Libby Wadle has been named president of the Madewell brand. Most recently, Wadle served as president of the J.Crew brand. Wadle will continue to report to Drexler.

"Today's retail environment is changing more rapidly than ever before. Customers demand greater speed to market, convenience and personalized shopping experiences" said Drexler. "At J.Crew, we are embracing this change and making necessary adjustments to our business and teams to move us forward in a more efficient and dynamic way. We have an incredibly talented team of passionate leaders and will further leverage their strengths and talents as we continue to focus on making critical improvements in our business."

Regarding the headcount reduction, Drexler said, "We take these difficult decisions very seriously, but believe they are absolutely necessary. We are streamlining our teams as we evolve our business and processes to cater to the new demands of the retail industry. While challenging, we know what needs to be done and this is a critical step to position J.Crew for the future. We are committed to treating impacted associates with respect and support through this period of change."

J. Crew Group has been working to turnaround its J.Crew brand while the Madewell brand has been performing well.