The world of luxury retail changed forever last night when Neiman Marcus announced group CEO Burt Tansky would retire in October 2010.
Tansky, at the helm since 2001, is 72 and has been with the company since 1989. He'll be succeeded by Karen W. Katz, who is currently president and CEO of Neiman Marcus.
A little explanation of the company's structure: The group consists of both Neiman's and Bergdorf Goodman, which is currently run by James J. Gold, who has been promoted to President of Specialty Retail, a new position. Gold will be responsible for merchandising and operations for the 41 Neiman Marcus stores as well as Bergdorf's.
While Tansky's retirement is anything but shocking, in some ways it still marks "an end of an era."
The company, owned by private equity firms Warburg Pincus and TPG Capital (formerly known as Texas Pacific Group) since 2005, has proved stable in a sea of unstable department stores, much to the credit of Tansky. There's no doubting these firms want to eventually take Neiman's public, and Katz, whose worked for the company since 1985, is most likely the best person to lead it through an IPO.