Tapestry CFO Kevin Wills leaves

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After less than two years in the position
  • Praise and good wishes for Wills
  • Search for a successor
  • Wills kept it short and said 51 words

(exechange) — New York, November 6, 2018 — Kevin Wills, finance chief of Tapestry, leaves. As announced by Tapestry Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, Kevin G. Wills, Chief Financial Officer, leaves the fashion company after less than two years in the role, effective February 8, 2019.

No company wants a CFO to flame out in the first years.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CFOs who departed over the past 12 months was 6.7 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 12 percent of the CFOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within two years, and 23 percent left the position within three years.

Tapestry will undertake a search for a successor.

“To pursue another opportunity”

Kevin Wills’s departure from the CFO post is explained as follows. Tapestry said: “the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, Kevin Wills, has advised he will be departing the Company to pursue another opportunity.”

The phrase “to pursue another opportunity” opens the door to speculation.

Precise information about Kevin Wills’s future plans was not immediately available.


Tapestry said: “On November 5, 2018, Kevin Wills, the Chief Financial Officer of Tapestry, Inc. …, notified the Company that he is resigning from the Company to pursue another opportunity.  Mr. Wills is expected to stay at the Company through February 8, 2019.”

Chaired by Jide Zeitlin

Tapestry, Inc. is chaired by Jide Zeitlin.

Jide J. Zeitlin was elected to the Company’s Board of Directors in June 2006 and as Chairman of Board since November 2014.

CEO: Victor Luis

Victor Luis serves as CEO of Tapestry, Inc.

The company, formerly known as Coach, changed its name following several high-profile acquisitions, including Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman.

Luis joined Coach in 2006 as President & CEO, Coach Japan, and rapidly assumed additional leadership responsibilities across Asia and Europe, becoming Chief Commercial Officer in 2013 and then CEO of Coach, Inc. in 2014.

In the position of CFO since 2017

Kevin G. Wills has been Chief Financial Officer of Tapestry, Inc. since joining on February 21, 2017.

On January 4, 2017, Coach, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors appointed Kevin Wills, age 51, Chief Financial Officer of the Company, effective no later than March 2017.

Wills joins Coach from AlixPartners LLP, a global business advisory firm, where he has served as Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer since March 2014.

At AlixPartners, Wills has been responsible for all financial management, capital restructuring and mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to AlixPartners, Wills was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Saks Incorporated, owner of the Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks.com and Off 5th franchises, where he worked for nearly 16 years in various finance, strategic-planning, administration and operations positions.

Before joining Saks Inc., Wills served as Vice President and Controller for Tennessee Valley Authority, an energy producer. Wills started his career in 1988 as a Business Assurance Manager for Coopers and Lybrand (now known as PwC), an accounting and financial services firm.

He has a BS in Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

In addition, Wills is currently Chairman of the Board of Healthways, Inc. (NASDAQ: HWAY), where he has been a Director since 2012.

In order to facilitate a smooth transition, Wills is expected to stay through February 8, 2019.

At the time of Kevin Wills’s appointment as Chief Financial Officer, Victor Luis, Chief Executive Officer of Coach, Inc., had said: “Kevin brings nearly 30 years of broad-based and relevant retail and finance experience to Coach. His expertise and strong operational track record make him a valuable addition to the leadership team. As we continue to execute our transformation plan, I have confidence that in Kevin we are adding a proven strategic business partner who will be an important part of Coach, Inc.’s next chapter of growth as a multi-brand company.”

At the time of his appointment as Chief Financial Officer, Wills had said: “I am delighted to join Coach, an exceptional company with strong global brands and a disciplined focus on financial results. I very much look forward to playing a key role as the firm executes its long-term global growth strategy.”

Wills replaced Jane Nielsen, who departed from Coach in August 2016.


As a general rule, when a top manager announces to step down with no successor in place, it is a signal that the move was unexpected and too early.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Kevin Wills’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 46.2018 ($).