North Face names a new chairman
The appointment of Robert Bunje as chairman of the board of The North Face may signal an attempt by the corporation to bring more able financial management skills to the company’s top positions.The North Face announced yesterday that its board of directors has chosen Bunje to replace Mardy Cason, the company’s chairman since 1997. According to a release from the company, Bunje has served on the company’s board of directors since 1997.He is president of Bunje Pacific Consulting Corp., a firm that provides strategic and financial planning services to businesses. He is also acting senior vice president and chief financial officer of ADAC Laboratories. He is a former partner with accounting firm Deloitte & Touche, with more than 23 years of experience. He last served as managing director of that company’s International Merger and Acquisition Services.In a press release from the company, Interim CEO William Simon said, “Bob Bunje brings considerable financial management talents to the company and he will be actively involved in the business.”Cason served as the company’s chief executive officer from 1993 to 1997. He will remain on the board of directors.Company officials were not available to comment on the appointment.The Carbondale-based designer and distributor outdoor equipment and clothing has been without a permanent president and chief executive officer since the Aug. 31 resignation of Jim Fifield, who owns a home in Aspen. Fifield resigned as president and CEO when his bid, with Leonard Green & Partners L.P., to purchase the company fell through. The deal was said to be worth $216 million.The company is also involved in a search for a chief financial officer since the recent resignation of Christopher Crawford from that post.Shares of the company closed down 1/8 to 7-7/16 on the Nasdaq Stock Market yesterday.The North Face moved its corporate headquarters to Carbondale from San Leandro, Calif. last September. Though sales have increased at a healthy rate, the company has lost money for the last two years. Major expenditures included the move to Carbondale and closing the company’s Vacaville, Calif. distribution center to start up a new distribution operation in Lenexa, Kan.
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A recent survey of Aspen residents shows that people are happy here, feel safe but are financially insecure.