Wacoal Europe CEO Tracy Lewis has today announced that she is to leave the global branded lingerie business after 11 years at the helm.
Lewis intends to step down at the end of March, handing over to current finance director Geoff Embley, who has been with the business since 2006.
She will support the transition for a short period following handover, in an advisory capacity.
Lewis joined Wacoal Europe – then named the Eveden Group – 13 years ago, before taking the reins of the company in 2005.
During her time with the business, Wacoal Europe successfully expanded from being a UK-centric to an export-led supplier, opening offices in the US, Australia and across Europe, trebling turnover as a result.
For these achievements Lewis received numerous plaudits, including the EY UK Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Private Equity Backed Businesses in 2012.
The sale to Wacoal Group was quickly followed by the integration of Wacoal Group’s existing European subsidiaries into Wacoal Europe and the commencement of the design of Wacoal branded product, in addition to Wacoal Europe’s portfolio of lingerie and swim brands such as Fantasie, Freya, Elomi, Goddess and Huit, all under Lewis’s direction.
Lewis said she is proud of the business’ many achievements.
“I leave the business in great shape for Geoff and the team to build an even more exciting future,” she added. “My passion for product, retail and my entrepreneurial spirit is as strong as ever and I look forward to new experiences and opportunities.
“I thank all of our wonderful retailers and suppliers for supporting the business in achieving such success and our passionate consumers around the world for loving and living in our fabulous brands.”
Wacoal Europe chairman Yuzo Ide said: “On behalf of the Wacoal Group I would like to acknowledge and thank Tracy for her achievements, passion and vision in leading the business to where it stands today.
“We are proud to have such a strong and profitable multi brand subsidiary with its base in Europe and a truly international team, contributing to Wacoal Group’s global mission. Geoff is a very experienced and capable successor and will continue to drive the business forward to meet its future goals.”