Jamieson Karson has resigned as the company’s chairman and chief executive after seven years to pursue other opportunities. He is credited with making important strategic contributions while at the helm, such as overseeing the expansion of the company’s retail footprint, the diversification of the business and the extension of the Steve Madden brand on a more international scale.
It is not clear whether Karson’s departure is somehow related to the expiration next June of a court ban on the designer Steven Madden from taking up an executive office at the company that he controls. Ed Rosenfeld, executive vice president for strategic planning and finance, has been named interim CEO. Rosenfeld joined the company in 2005 and was appointed to the board in 2008. He held a prior position at Peter J. Solomon, an investment-banking firm. Walter Yetnikoff, an independent director of Steven Madden since 2005, has been named non-executive chairman of the board.
As previously reported, Steven Madden gave up a few weeks ago on plans for a change of ownership and decided instead to buy back some of its shares from its existing shareholders based on a “Dutch Auction” tender offer. In the end, the company agreed to buy 2,600,000 shares of common stock at a price of $17 per share, totaling $44.2 million. These shares represent about 12.9 percent of the shares outstanding. An aggregate of 3,227,534 shares of common stock were properly tendered. After the buy-back, Steven Madden will have close to 17.6 million shares of common stock outstanding.