Ascena Retail Group, Inc. has confirmed the retirement of Randy L. Pearce and also announced the appointments of Kate Buggeln as Lead Independent Director, who steps into the position vacated by Pearce. Additionally, the company said, Carrie W. Teffner has been appointed a member of Ascena’s board of directors, effective immediately.

“We are grateful for Randy’s leadership over the past 13 years,” said David Jaffe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ascena Retail Group in a statement, adding, “We are thrilled to have Kate assume this new lead role. Her background in strategic planning, marketing and new business development has been invaluable to us.”

Ascena appoints Kate Beggeln lead independent director

Buggeln has been a member of Ascena’s board since 2004 and currently a chair of the company’s leadership and corporate governance committee and also serves on its audit committee. In her added capacity as lead independent director, Buggeln will preside at executive sessions of the independent directors and serve as liaison between the independent directors and the chairman of the board.

Buggeln is a business growth advisor and strategist. She was a senior advisor with Irving Place Capital, LP, from 2012 to 2018. Prior to joining Irving Place Capital, Buggeln was senior vice president of strategy and business development for Coach, Inc., where she led strategies to maximize franchise momentum and enter new categories and markets. She also spent many years as a retail consultant at LakeWest Group Ltd. and Coopers & Lybrand LLP, where she advised retail companies on business strategy, operations, e-commerce and supply chain.

Teffner, the company said is a tenured retail executive with an extensive 30-year background in strategy and operations. At Crocs, she has led a company-wide transformation to improve quality of revenue and profitability. Prior to joining Crocs in 2015, Teffner served as EVP and CFO at both PetSmart, Inc., and Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Previously, she served as senior vice president and CFO at Timberland and spent 21 years at Sara Lee Corporation in a variety of senior leadership roles.

“We are pleased with the expertise that Carrie brings to Ascena, and how well both she and Kate complement our Board membership. We believe that boards with gender diversity outperform in terms of profitability, governance and teamwork. With this appointment, we are proud that six of our 11 Board members are women,” added Jaffe.


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