In late 2013, Saks Fifth Avenue brought on Marigay McKee as president to revamp the department store chain, which had lost a bit of its luster and was underperforming. McKee had a proven track record, having come up the fashion industry ranks and famously helping turn Harrods into one of the world's most successful (and relevant) luxury retail destinations.
After laying out her plans for modernizing Saks and attracting younger, hipper customers — including bringing in more buzzy designers and exclusive, higher luxury items —McKee has left the retailer after only 15 months on the job "based on mutual agreement with the company," as per a press release sent out Thursday afternoon.
Her replacement is Marc Metrick, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Saks parent company Hudson's Bay Company. He spent 15 years at Saks, eventually becoming its chief strategy officer before joining HBC in 2012. There, he was instrumental in helping HBC acquire his former employer. “It is not often that one has the opportunity to lead the company where they started and grew up," said Metrick in a statement. "Saks Fifth Avenue has played such a pivotal role in shaping who I have become as an executive, and I cannot be more excited than to lead Saks Fifth Avenue.”
McKee had been an interesting and exciting choice because of her success at Harrods and because she clearly possesses a love of fashion, not just business. Her ability to straddle the line between both worlds is a rare, valuable quality.
McKee is scheduled to give a talk at NYU on "What it means to be president of Saks Fifth Avenue" next Tuesday, suggesting that this decision was a relatively recent one.