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Fossil Appoints an Interim CFO after the Finance Chief Leaves with the CEO



Fossil Appoints an Interim CFO after the Finance Chief Leaves with the CEO

In a Monday securities filing, the company announced that struggling retailer Fossil had hired Ankura Consulting Group to provide interim CFO services after treasurer and finance chief Sunil Doshi left. The retailer in Richardson, Texas, named Andrew Skobe, managing director of Ankura, as its temporary chief financial officer with immediate effect.

Per the filing, Doshi, who assumed the role of CFO in 2021, will be leaving for a different opportunity and remaining on until July 19 to facilitate a seamless transition. The retail products company has started looking for a long-term replacement for its top financial position. Products include watches, handbags, wallets, and jewelry.

Doshi’s departure occurred just a few months after the troubled retailer, Fossil, revealed that its longstanding chairman and CEO, Kosta Kartsotis, would be leaving his role after almost 24 years in leadership.

Dive Insight:

As per his LinkedIn profile, Skobe, the new interim manager at Fossil, worked for Ankura for a year as the managing director of the office of the CFO. Before joining Ankura, he worked for Hudson Charles as interim CFO and financial consultant. He has held executive and financial positions at Icahn Enterprises, Marvel Entertainment, Radisson Hotel Group, and Dun & Bradstreet.

According to a previous article in the sister publication CFO Dive, the use of interim and part-time leaders by businesses to accomplish specific tasks or resolve problems has increased in recent years.

As Fossil continues to implement its Transform and Grow, or TAG, strategy—an initiative that was started in 2023 with the goal of lowering its operating expenses—Skobe will take over as the company’s leader. The retailer has made major executive changes in the last year due to its lackluster performance in 2023 and 2024, which have left it facing severe financial difficulties.

The company’s full-year earnings results, which were released on March 13, show that its losses soared in the fourth quarter of 2023. With Q4 net sales down almost 16%, the company’s net loss increased to $28.2 million from $9.4 million in the same period last year. Its net loss for the entire year shot up to $157 million from $44.2 million in the prior year.

Along with its full-year results, the company also announced the departure of its longtime CEO in a separate release on March 13. The company named Jeffrey Boyer, its chief operating officer, as its acting CEO. CEO of Kohl’s Kevin Mansell was chosen to serve as board chairman, and Kartsotis will continue in a transitional role through September of this year. Boyer has been essential to Fossil’s TAG strategy’s implementation.

According to a company filing, Fossil also appointed Eugene Davis to the audit committee and Pamela Corrie to the nominating and corporate governance committee in March, adding two new members to the board.

As per an April filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company also notified its Chief Human Resources Officer, Darren Hart, that the role had been terminated as part of its TAG strategy. This was another executive change.

According to Fossil’s Q1 2024 earnings report, the TAG plan is expected to generate $300 million in operating income benefits by the following year. Of that amount, $125 million will be generated in 2023 alone.

Fossil reported net sales of $255 million for the first quarter of 2024, which ended on March 30. This represents a 22% year-over-year decline. The retailer lost $24.3 million during the quarter, as opposed to $41.3 million during the same period last year. With related restructuring costs predicted to be $35 million for the year compared to $49 million in 2023, Fossil anticipates that its TAG plan will produce additional annualized operating income benefits of at least $100 million in 2024.

According to a press release on Monday, Fossil confirmed its outlook for the entire year 2024, estimating net sales of about $1.2 billion, in addition to appointing an interim CFO.

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