Barneys Finally Gets a CEO After Two Years of Instability

By DNAinfo Staff on August 23, 2010 1:51pm

By Yepoka Yeebo

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — After two years without a leader, Barneys New York finally has a CEO, Crain's New York reported Monday.

Starting September 1, former Gucci chief executive Mark Lee, 47, takes the reins at the luxury retailer, according to the paper.

Lee is known for breathing life into fusty old brands. Before revitalizing Gucci, Lee was CEO of Yves Saint Laurent. He also worked at Saks Fifth Avenue and Giorgio Armani, according to fashion industry paper Women's Wear Daily.

With Lee, Barneys is looking to bounce back from a rough two years. The company, which is owned by Dubai-based Istithmar World, took a hit during the recession, accrued massive debts and suffered from wary suppliers and ever more frugal shoppers. The company has been run by a team of executives since former CEO Howard Socol retired in June 2008.

"Barneys is a unique landmark retailer, store and brand, one that is synonymous with luxury and style," said Lee in a statement to Crains.

"I am confident that together with the strong Barneys team we can take the company to even greater prominence,” he added.

Gucci CEO and President Mark Lee is seen during the opening ceremony of Gucci's first store in Budapest, Hungary,
Gucci CEO and President Mark Lee is seen during the opening ceremony of Gucci's first store in Budapest, Hungary,
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AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky

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