Chief Executive Officer
Gary Muto is President and Chief Executive Officer of ascena brands. He is responsible for reinvigorating and driving top-line growth across the full brand portfolio of ascena.
A seasoned retail leader, Gary was most recently the President and CEO of the Premium Fashion segment where he led all aspects of premium fashion segment’s portfolio of brands and channels including Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Lou & Grey.
Gary began his tenure at ANN INC. in 2008 as the President of LOFT. During this time, he focused on revenue growth, strategic store openings and increasing the brand’s presence by improving ecommerce operations. In 2013, he was named President of ANN INC. brands and assumed responsibility for all aspects of the portfolio—from Design and Merchandising to Marketing and Planning—for both Ann Taylor and LOFT. In 2014, he added oversight of the ecommerce channel as ANN INC. migrated to its multi-channel platform.
Before joining the ANN team, Gary held several leadership roles at Gap Inc. between 1998 and 2007, including Senior Vice President of Merchandising at Banana Republic (1993-1999), Executive Vice President of Merchandising (1999-2001), and brand President. In 2002, he was named President of the entire Gap organization, before launching the specialty brand Forth & Towne and then returning to Gap Body and Gap Adult.
Prior to Gap Inc., Gary worked as a Group Buyer at the historic, Brooklyn-based department store Abraham & Straus.
Gary earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from St. John’s University.
EVP, Chief Financial Officer, ascena retail group, inc.
Robb Giammatteo is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of ascena retail group, inc. He joined ascena in September 2013 as Senior Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis and Investor Relations and was promoted to his current role in February 2015.
Robb came to ascena from VF Corporation, where he was Vice President of Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis. Prior to VF, he spent several years in a variety of financial leadership roles at Limited Brands and General Motors. He started his career in Engineering at Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Robb earned a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer, ascena retail group, inc.
John is Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, ascena retail group, inc. John’s main goal as Chief HR Officer is to unleash the potential of ascena’s associates in service of company growth.
John has been working in various levels of retail for many years and has a wealth of experience merging brands and companies. He is known for generating the kind of progressive work environment that stimulates employees to put their best foot forward.
Prior to joining ascena in 2011, John was the Executive Vice President of Human Capital and Legal at Best Buy Co., Inc., and played a key role in the retailer’s acquisition of multiple brands (most notably, Geek Squad). John was with Best Buy for 21 years, during which time the company grew from $500 million to $58 billion in sales.
John earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin in Architectural Studies.
Wendy L. Hufford
SVP, General Counsel, ascena retail group, inc.
Wendy L. Hufford was appointed Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of ascena retail group, inc. in October 2018. Wendy reports to the Chief Executive Officer and has responsibility for all legal matters affecting the Company.
Prior to joining ascena, Wendy was the Chief Operating Officer, Legal Department & Vice President, US Litigation, Risk Management & Human Resources at Boehringer Ingelheim USA and its subsidiaries from 2015-2018. In that role, she was responsible for law department operations and all litigation, government investigations, information governance, risk management and human resources counseling functions.
Wendy has held various executive-level positions throughout her career at ITT Corporation from 2010-2014 and Cardinal Health from 2006-2009. She also held in-house roles at GE Consumer Finance and Credit Suisse First Boston. Early in her career, she was in private practice at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York and she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Robert J. Ward on the U.S. District Court of the Southern District Court of New York.
Wendy is a graduate of Colgate University and The Yale Law School.
President, Plus Fashion segment
Eric Hunter joined ascena as president of the Plus fashion segment (Lane Bryant, Cacique and Catherines) in January 2018.
Eric’s background includes more than 20 years’ experience in mass and specialty retail and creative marketing. He served as Executive Vice President of Marketing for Pier 1 Imports, Inc.
Previously, Eric was Senior Vice President and acting Chief Marketing Officer for J.C. Penney Company where he led strategy, research, creative, media, customer relationship management and digital direction.
Prior to that, he served as Chief Marketing Officer & Group President with Kellwood Company and worked at PMK/HBH/Momentum and Creative Artists Agency.
Eric earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and International Business from Northeastern University and his Master’s Degree from the University of Oxford.
Erin Stern was appointed President of the dressbarn brand in February 2018. Prior to this role, she served as EVP, Chief Merchandising Officer of maurices, a position she held for five years.
Erin has extensive retail and merchandising experience spanning more than 25 years. Before joining ascena, she served as a strategic retail consultant, Chief Merchandising Officer of Juicy Couture, and President of bebe Sport. Erin spent the majority of her retail career with Gap, Inc. in the Old Navy division, holding several leadership roles across multiple product categories during her 13-year tenure.
Erin holds a Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University. She is also a graduate of the Macy’s Executive Training Program.
President, Kids Fashion segment
Lece first joined Limited Too in 1998, where her credentials and expertise landed her the role of SVP apparel, merchandising, and design.
In 2004, she moved south to be closer to family, and remained active in retail as SVP/GMM for merchandising, design, planning, visual, and creative for Chico’s. She returned to Ohio and Tween Brands in 2007 as EVP, design and merchandising.
With the Limited Too and Justice consolidation, her responsibilities continued to include merchandising, design, and visual. Shortly thereafter, creative marketing was added to her leadership role.
In 2016, Lece was promoted to president of the Kids Fashion Segment where she directs the lifestyle brand’s strategic initiatives—providing the hottest fashions and accessories for tween girls through unique experiences in brick and mortar, direct, and social channels.
Lece earned her bachelor’s degree at Brown University.
Andrew was appointed President of the LOFT brand in August 2018.
He joined ascena in 2017 as Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer at Justice. During his tenure, Andrew led critical initiatives that allowed the brand to increase its speed to market and react faster to customers’ needs.
Prior to his time at Justice, Andrew held the role of President of Kmart Apparel for Sears Holdings Corporation.
He began his career at Marks and Spencer PLC before joining UK-based New Look Retailers, where he spent 10 years in a variety of senior merchandising roles. He served as Chief Product Officer at France-based Pimkie, a women’s fast fashion chain, until 2014.
Andrew earned his BA joint honors in French and Politics at Keele University, UK.
President, Ann Taylor and Lou & Grey
Julie was appointed President of the Ann Taylor and Lou & Grey brands in August 2018.
She joined ascena in 2016 as Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager at Ann Taylor. In early 2018, her role was expanded to include the Lou & Grey brand. Julie has successfully cultivated a clear strategic vision, bringing elevated product assortments and a customer-centric focus across all channels of the business.
Julie started her career at GAP Inc. at Banana Republic and was named Vice President of Women’s Merchandising in 2000 and Senior Vice President in 2001.
In 2007, she founded Julie B. Rosen Consulting and worked with several retailers including Nike, Theory and Chrome Hearts.
Julie rejoined GAP Inc. as Senior Vice President of Merchandising for Banana Republic in 2009 and was promoted to EVP, Banana Republic North America and Global Product Development.
Julie earned her BA from University of Michigan.
Board of Directors
Former Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer
Director since 2001
David Jaffe serves as a director (since 2001), as our CEO (since 2002) and as Chairman of the Board (since 2016). Previously, he had been President from 2002 to 2017, and Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer from 2000 to 2002. Mr. Jaffe joined our Company in 1992 as Vice President, Business Development and became Senior Vice President in 1995, Executive Vice President in 1996 and Vice Chairman in 2000.
David is the son of Elliot S. and Roslyn S. Jaffe. Elliot S. Jaffe is a co-founder and Chairman Emeritus. Roslyn S. Jaffe is a co-founder and Director Emeritus for Life. David Jaffe is the brother of Elise Jaffe, a non-executive officer and a more than 5% stockholder, and Richard Jaffe, a significant holder of the Company’s stock. Mr. Jaffe is also a member of the Board of Directors of The National Retail Federation.
The Board selected Mr. Jaffe to serve as a director based on his extensive retail and financial background.
Katie J. Bayne
Committee(s): Leadership and Corporate Governance Committee
Director since 2015
Katie J. Bayne serves as a Senior Advisor with Guggenheim Securities, the investment banking and capital markets division of Guggenheim Partners. Concurrently, Ms. Bayne serves as founder and President of Bayne Advisors, an advisory firm that helps brands and businesses find their strategic identities, drive sustained consumer engagement and innovate for transformative results. Ms. Bayne began her career with The Coca-Cola Company in 1989 in brand management and has since held roles of increasing responsibility, which focused on consumer strategy, retail marketing and consumer marketing in the U.S., Australia and globally. She eventually became Chief Marketing Officer and then President, North American Brands. Ms. Bayne brings extensive strategic marketing and brand management experience to the Company. Throughout her career in leadership roles at Coca-Cola, Ms. Bayne acquired vast managerial and operational knowledge of the retail industry, both domestically and internationally. Ms. Bayne currently serves on the board of directors of The Honest Company, Inc. Ms. Bayne previously served on the board of directors of ANN INC. until its acquisition by the Company in August 2015, as well as Beazer Homes USA. Ms. Bayne is also a member of the board of trustees of the American Film Institute and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
The Board selected Ms. Bayne to serve as a director based on her strong background in consumer strategy, retail marketing and consumer marketing.
Committee(s): Compensation and Stock Option Committee, Leadership and Corporate Governance Committee
Director since 2004
Kate Buggeln was appointed as ascena’s Lead Independent Director on October 4, 2018. Currently, Ms. Buggeln serves as a member of the Board for publicly traded Five Below, Inc. She also is on the Board of Noble Biomaterials, Scoop Holdings (parent company of cabi) and the nonprofit, Bpeace. Previously, Ms. Buggeln was a Senior Advisor with Irving Place Capital, L.P., and prior to that position was Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Coach, Inc., where she created and led strategies to enter new markets and new categories. Ms. Buggeln 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. Previously, Ms. Buggeln served as a Director at Vitamin Shoppe, Stuart Weitzman and Timberland Co.
The Board selected Ms. Buggeln to serve as a director based on her strong background in strategic planning, marketing and new business development.
Steven L. Kirshenbaum
Proskauer Rose LLP
Director since 2015
Steven L. Kirshenbaum is a senior partner in the Corporate Department of Proskauer Rose LLP, an international law firm with headquarters in New York City. Mr. Kirshenbaum has served as a member of Proskauer’s Executive Committee, a Chair of the firm’s Corporate Department and managing partner of Proskauer’s Paris Office. He has in-depth experience in general corporate, transactional, governance and securities practice areas, representing domestic and foreign companies.
The Board selected Mr. Kirshenbaum to serve as a director based on his knowledge of the Company, extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, securities compliance and corporate governance, each of which strengthen the Board’s collective qualifications, skills and experience.
Committee: Compensation and Stock Incentive Committee
Director since 2015
Kay Krill served as Chief Executive Officer of ANN INC. (“ANN”), which was acquired by the Company on August 21, 2015, from 2005 through October 31, 2015, and as President of ANN from 2004 through October 31, 2015. Ms. Krill also served as a member of the Board of Directors of ANN from 2004 until acquired by the Company. From 2001 to 2004, Ms. Krill served as President of ANN’s LOFT Division. From 1998 to 2001, Ms. Krill was Executive Vice President, Merchandise and Design of ANN’s LOFT Division. From 1996 to 1998, Ms. Krill served as Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager of ANN’s LOFT Division and, from 1994 to 1996, she was Vice President of Merchandising for Ann Taylor. Prior to joining ANN, Ms. Krill held various management positions at several retailers including The Talbots, Inc. and Hartmarx Corporation.
Ms. Krill is also on the Breast Cancer Research Foundation Board of Directors, and previously served on the Boards of the National Retail Federation and St. Luke’s School in New Canaan, CT.
The Board selected Ms. Krill to serve as a director based on her experience as the chief executive officer and board member of a publicly held specialty retailer, and her extensive experience in the apparel industry.
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
Avenue Capital Group
Director since 2017
Marc Lasry re-joined our Board in June 2017, having previously served as a member of the Board from February 2004 until October 2006. Since 1995, Mr. Lasry has served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Avenue Capital Group, a global investment firm that focuses on private and public debt, equity and real estate markets in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Prior to founding Avenue Capital Group, Mr. Lasry co-founded Amroc Investments, LLC in association with the Robert M. Bass Group. Prior to which, Mr. Lasry managed capital for Amroc Investments, L.P. (predecessor to Amroc Investments, LLC), a distressed debt investment firm in association with the Robert M. Bass Group. Prior to that, Mr. Lasry was Co-Director of the Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization Department at Cowen & Company. Mr. Lasry also served as Director of the Private Debt Department at Smith Vasiliou Management Company. Mr. Lasry clerked for the Honorable Edward Ryan, former Chief Bankruptcy Judge of the Southern District of New York. Mr. Lasry is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and also serves on the board of directors of Boulevard Acquisition Corp. II, and AgroFresh Solutions, Inc. He has served on the boards of advisors or directors of both for-profit and not-for-profit public and private companies, including the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 92nd Street Y, the Clinton Global Initiative and the Global Endowment Management.
The Board selected Mr. Lasry to serve as a director based on his extensive capital allocation and investment experience with public and private companies.
Non-Executive Chairman of the Board
Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc.
Committee(s): Audit Committee; Leadership and Corporate Governance Committee (Chair)
Director since 2017
Stacey Rauch has served as the non-executive Chairman of the board of directors of Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. since February 2017, as a director of Fiesta Restaurant Group since 2012, Chair of Fiesta Restaurant Group’s Corporate Governance & Nominating Committee, and as a member of its Compensations Committee. Ms. Rauch is a Director (Senior Partner) Emeritus of McKinsey & Company (“McKinsey”) from which she retired in September 2010. Ms. Rauch was a leader in McKinsey’s Retail and Consumer Goods Practices, served as the head of the North American Retail and Apparel Practice, and acted as the Global Retail Practice Convener. A 24 year veteran of McKinsey, Ms. Rauch led engagements for a wide range of retailers, apparel wholesalers, and consumer goods manufacturers in the US and internationally. Her areas of expertise include strategy, organization, marketing, merchandising, omnichannel management, global expansion, and retail store operations. Ms. Rauch was a co-founder of McKinsey’s New Jersey office, and was the first woman at McKinsey appointed as an industry practice leader. Prior to joining McKinsey, Ms. Rauch spent five years in product management for the General Foods Corporation. Ms. Rauch also serves as a director of Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc., a global provider of executive search, leadership assessment and development services, where she sits on its Audit and Finance Committee, and as a non-executive director of Land Securities, PLC, the UK’s largest commercial property company, where she sits on its Audit, Nomination and Remuneration Committees. Previously, Ms. Rauch served on the board of directors of CEB, Inc., a leading member-based advisory company, ANN INC., (which was acquired by the Company), and Tops Holding Corporation, the parent company of Tops Markets LLC, a US grocery retailer. The Board selected Ms. Rauch to serve as a director based on her extensive background in business strategy, marketing, merchandising and operations in the retail industry.
Former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board
The Michaels Companies, Inc.
Committee(s): Audit Committee (Chair) and Compensation and Stock Incentive Committee
Director since 2015
Carl “Chuck” Rubin served as Chairman of the Board of The Michaels Companies, Inc. (“Michaels”) from 2015 to April 2019. He joined Michaels in 2013 and was its Chief Executive Officer from 2013 to February 2019. Prior to joining Michaels, from 2010 to 2013, Mr. Rubin was President and Chief Executive Officer of Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrances, Inc. Mr. Rubin held roles of increasing responsibility at Office Depot, serving as President beginning in 2006. Mr. Rubin spent six years in senior leadership roles, including Partner, at Accenture Consulting where he advised clients and led engagements across retail formats and ecommerce business. Prior to joining Accenture Consulting, Mr. Rubin held various management positions at several specialty retailers. Mr. Rubin was a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of The National Retail Federation from 2007 to 2010.
The Board selected Mr. Rubin to serve as a Director based on his extensive managerial and operational knowledge of the retail industry and his experience as a board member of a specialty retailer.
Carrie W. Teffner
Interim Executive Chair
Director since 2018
Carrie W. Teffner served as Executive Vice President Finance and Strategic Projects of Crocs, Inc. (“Crocs”) from August 2018 to April 2019, and served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Crocs from December 2015 to August 2018. Prior to joining Crocs, Ms. Teffner served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of PetSmart, Inc. from 2013 to 2015 until it was sold to BC Partners, where she was responsible for finance and information technology. Ms. Teffner also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Weber Stephen Products LLC from 2011 to 2013. From 2009 to 2011, Ms. Teffner served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Timberland Company until it was sold to VF Corporation. Ms. Teffner spent the first 21 years of her career with Sara Lee Corporation where she held various domestic and international positions including divisional and segment Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Ms. Teffner also serves as a director and Audit Committee Chair for GameStop Corp. since August 2018. Ms. Teffner served as a director and the Audit Committee Chair for Banfield, The Pet Hospital, from 2014 to 2015, and as a director of Crocs for six months during 2015 prior to her appointment as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Teffner also served as a director of the nonprofit community revitalization organization, Rebuilding Together, from 2013 to 2019.
The Board selected Ms. Teffner to serve as a Director based on her extensive strategic, financial and operational expertise and background in financial reporting and internal controls for large, publicly held product and retail companies.
John L. Welborn, Jr.
Stadium Capital Management
Committee(s): Audit Committee; Leadership and Corporate Governance Committee
Director since 2018
John L. Welborn, Jr. serves as a Managing Director for Stadium Capital Management, LLC (“Stadium”), an investment advisory firm that focuses on smaller capitalized publicly traded companies in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe. In his role at Stadium, Mr. Welborn has led or supported Stadium’s due diligence across many different industries, including financial services, retail, software and business services.
Mr. Welborn joined Stadium in 2000 as an Associate. Prior to joining Stadium, from 1998 to 2000, Mr. Welborn was a Financial Analyst at The Beacon Group, LLC, an investment and advisory firm that is now part of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. At Beacon, Mr. Welborn was a member of the Mergers & Acquisitions Group, focusing on financial services and consumer product companies and the Liquid Investments Committee. From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Welborn served as a director and member of the governance committee for Intermountain Community Bancorp and a director of Panhandle State Bank, Inc. From 2009 to 2013, Mr. Welborn was a board observer of West Coast Bancorp.
The Board selected Mr. Welborn to serve as a director based on his strong background in capital markets and investment experience.
Advertising and Client Partnerships NBCUniversal, LLC
Committee(s): Compensation and Stock Incentive Committee (Chair); Leadership and Corporate Governance Committee
Director since 2016
Linda Yaccarino is Chairman, Advertising and Client Partnerships for NBCUniversal, LLC. (“NBCUniversal”) since 2011. In this role Ms. Yaccarino oversees all market strategy and advertising revenue totaling nearly $10 billion, for NBCUniversal’s entire portfolio of broadcast, cable and digital assets.
Prior to joining NBCUniversal in 2011, she held roles of increasing responsibility from 1996 to 2011 at Turner Broadcast System, Inc. (“Turner”), serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Turner Entertainment Advertising, Sales and Marketing, and Acquisitions beginning in 2009. Prior to joining Turner, Ms. Yaccarino held various management positions at several media sales outlets.
The Board selected Ms. Yaccarino to serve as a director based on her extensive digital knowledge, multiplatform consumer engagement and transformation experience.
Elliot S. Jaffe
Co-Founder & Chairman Emeritus
Elliot S. Jaffe served as a director since 1966, Chairman of the Board until 2011, Chief Executive Officer until 2002, and as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board until his retirement from the Board in December 2016.
Mr. Jaffe is the spouse of Roslyn S. Jaffe, a co-founder and Director Emeritus for Life of our Company, and they are the parents of David Jaffe, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of our Company, Elise Jaffe, a non-executive officer and a more than 5% stockholder, and Richard Jaffe, who owns approximately 5% of the Company’s stock.
Mr. Jaffe has over 60 years of experience in the apparel industry and broad knowledge of our business, as our founder, Chairman/Non-Executive Chairman for over 50 years, and as our Chief Executive Officer for 40 years.
Roslyn S. Jaffe
Co-Founder, Secretary & Director Emeritus for Life
Mrs. Roslyn S. Jaffe co-founded dressbarn in 1962. Mrs. Jaffe served as Treasurer of Ascena Retail Group from 1983 until 2006 and as a Director from 1966 – 2006. In 2006, Roslyn S. Jaffe was named Director Emeritus for Life.
Mrs. Jaffe is a graduate of Simmons College and was awarded an honorary Doctorate degree in management from Simmons College in 2011.
Today, Mrs. Jaffe serves as the Executive Director of the Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards, a program that awards non-profit organizations who are working in the area of women and children’s empowerment. In addition to her work with the Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards, and ascena Cares, Mrs. Jaffe is founding member of the Jaffe Family Foundation that has supported a variety of causes, especially in medicine and higher education.