J. Crew “Lyonizes” Jenna…

Last November, we wrote a post about J. Crew Group, Inc.’s (JCG) decision to reward its Creative Director for women’s clothing, Jenna Lyons Mazeau (often referred to as —Jenna Lyons), with a $1 million cash bonus. The award (not her first, by the way) came in the wake of a sales spike dubbed the —Obama bump — that is, after members of the Obama family wore the brand, others wanted to wear it, too.

Irrespective of how Lyons’ influence intersects with political popularity, though, her star is still rising within the executive ranks at J. Crew.

On July 13, the company announced that Tracy Gardner, President — Retail and Direct, had resigned and would leave on September 13. J. Crew also filed an 8-K with a few details that the press release omitted: Lyons is getting what could be called the —Lyons bump — a promotion to President & Executive Creative Director. That gives her a base salary raise from $725,000 to $1 million a year, as well as more say in the future vision for the company.

Simultaneously, J. Crew also promoted Libby Wadle, the new Executive Vice President — Retail & Factory, whose salary jumped from $475,000 to $600,000 (her target annual cash incentive also increased to 75% of base salary).

And James Scully, who’s assuming responsibility for production (in addition to his current duties as Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer) gets a nice salary boost from $600,000 to $700,000.

The company noted that —Ms. Gardner’s resignation is not as a result of any disagreement with the Company or its management and that her employment would terminate in accordance with the terms of her March 14, 2008 employment agreement. That agreement restricts Gardner from competing with the company, disparaging it, or recruiting other J. Crew employees for a period of time.

Gardner had completed more than half of her four-year agreement, and her resignation appears to be a —voluntary termination of employment… without Good Reason. As such, she—ll get her —earned but unpaid Base Salary; however, since she’s voluntarily leaving and it doesn—t appear to be —for Good Reason (as defined in the employment agreement), it appears that J. Crew has no obligation to pay her any severance.

But back to Lyons…. Maybe now that she’s in this new leadership role, the stock will rise and shareholders will enjoy a new, fashionable shade of green.

Image source: Epicharmus via Flickr


See more of what’s in the filings: Check out FootnotedPro, where we highlight unusual opportunities and potential problems well in advance of the market. For more information or to inquire about a trial subscription, email us at