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Sequential Names New CEO

Sequential Brands Group has appointed Karen Murray as its new chief executive officer as current CEO, Yehuda Shmidman is stepping down from his position at the company and as a member of the board of directors.

April 6, 2018

2 Min Read

Former VF Corp. executive will head the global brand management company following Yehuda Schmidman’s  departure.

Sequential Brands Group has appointed Karen Murray as its new chief executive officer as Yehuda Shmidman, current CEO, steps down. Schmidman will also step down from the board of directors.

Murray will also serve as director of the company.

Most recently, Murray was the president of VF Sportswear, a subsidiary of VF Corporation. During her tenure, she oversaw the $1.2 billion global brand, Nautica, as well as Kipling.

Murray began her career at Gant, where she remained for nine years before transition to Liz Claiborne, where she assumed several positions throughout her tenure, including president from 1998 to 2007.

"Karen Murray has outstanding leadership skills and industry experience and she has demonstrated her ability to activate and grow successful brands,” says William Sweedler, chairman of the board, Sequential. “We are excited to have an executive of Karen's caliber join and lead our team at Sequential to grow with us. I have admired her and watched her thrive in her career, and I am pleased that we will be able to work together."

Shmidman joined Sequential in 2012 as CEO. During his tenure, the company bought a raft of brands, including the clothing lines of Jessica Simpson and Justin Timberlake, Ellen Tracy and Martha Stewart Omnimedia.

Previously, he worked at Iconix Brand Group, where he held a number of positions, including executive vice president of operations and senior vice president of business development, before taking on the position of chief operating officer.

Earlier this month, Shmidman delivered the opening keynote on Day Two of the NYC Summit: The Business of Brand Licensing, developed by License Global magazine. During his keynote, he discussed the current “retailing crisis” and outlined how the brand management company is adapting to the new retail marketplace and building its key brands.

In 2016, Sequential Brands Group reported $4 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise worldwide. It’s current portfolio of brands includes Joe’s, Martha Stewart, Jessica Simpson, Caribbean Joe, Emeril Lagasse and Gaiam, among others.

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