Eddie Bauer

president/CEO Richard Fersch abruptly announced his retirement from the company on Jan. 4, effective immediately. Fersch said he plans to become a consultant and adviser as well as a community activist. Fersch rose from vice president of retail at Redmond, WA-based Bauer in 1988 to president of the Spiegel Group division in ’93. He added the CEO title in ’97. Spiegel has hired a search firm to find a replacement. During the search Spiegel vice chairman/president/CEO Martin Zaepfel will oversee the company with Fersch’s assistance.

Eddie Bauer also announced on Jan. 4 that apparel division president Steve Newman has assumed the additional responsibility of all creative services and sourcing in addition to his role in merchandising, planning, inventory management, design, and development. In addition, vice president of direct media Mark Staudinger has been promoted to vice president of marketing, and managing director for Bauer’s Miami-based international unit Paul Keur has been named vice president of sourcing and production.