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Fifth & Pacific Is Now Kate Spade & Company, With a New CEO

And Kate Spade's CEO is taking over.
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Following the recent sales of Juicy Couture and Lucky Brand to focus on better-performing Kate Spade, parent company Fifth & Pacific has announced plans for a pretty huge transformation: It's basically becoming Kate Spade.

First of all, the company has changed its name from Fifth & Pacific to Kate Spade & Company. Only the ampersand remains. Second, chairman and CEO William L. McComb is leaving the company after seven years, to be replaced by Kate Spade CEO Craig Leavitt. The transition goes into effect on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

Fifth & Pacific has undergone a lot of change under McComb, whom the New York Post once called “Edward Scissorhands.” Since joining in 2006, when the company was called Liz Claiborne, he has sold off more than a dozen brands (including Liz Claiborne--to JC Penney, hence the name change), ultimately leaving just one: Kate Spade.

Craig Leavitt was brought in at Kate Spade around the same time as Deborah Lloyd in 2008, following the departures of Kate and Jack Spade, and is credited with revitalizing the brand and overseeing its domestic an international expansion. In the process, he and Lloyd have made it Fifth & Pacific's strongest and most promising brand.

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McComb doesn't seem to have any hard feelings about his departure. "Under Craig and Deborah's leadership, Kate Spade has truly blossomed -- not only growing more than seven-fold in sales, but also dramatically expanding the brand's global presence and lifestyle offerings," he said in a release. "They are clear in their goals for the brand going forward and committed to executing them with precision."