J. Crew Group’s CEO departs; successor named
J. Crew Group has promoted a company veteran to its top post.
The apparel retailer named Libby Wadle as CEO, overseeing J.Crew and J.Crew Factory in addition to her current leadership responsibilities at Madewell. In her new role, Wadle succeeds Jan Singer, who “elected to pursue other endeavors.”
Singer was appointed CEO of J. Crew Group in January 2019, after serving as CEO of Victoria’s Secret. She led the company through a challenging year during which it filed for — and emerged from — Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Wadle has spent the last 16 years at J.Crew, holding senior management roles at each brand. Most recently, she served as president and then CEO of the company’s denim-based Madewell brand, which has experienced significant, consistent growth under her leadership. Wadle is credited with playing a key role in transforming the brand from a start-up division within the company to a high growth industry leader. (J.Crew once planned to spin off Madewell into its own public company.)
"Libby's connectivity to the J.Crew and Madewell brands, proven ability to build community both inside and outside the organization, and track record of delivering excellent operating and financial performance make her the ideal person to lead J.Crew Group," said Kevin Ulrich, chairman, J.Crew. "Importantly, we thank Jan for her dedication and contributions to J.Crew and her partnership in leading the company through a challenging year in our industry.”
Before Madwell, Wadle was president of the J.Crew brand, which included oversight of Madewell, from 2013 to 2017; executive VP of the J.Crew brand from 2011 to 2013; executive VP-retail and factory from 2010 to 2011; and executive VP-Factory and Madewell from 2007 to 2010. She joined the company in 2004 as VP, J.Crew Factory.
As of Nov. 24, J. Crew operated 161 J.Crew namesake stores, 144 Madewell stores, and 168 J.Crew factory outlet locations.