Coach names Hyatt's Gebhard Rainer as chief operating officer as luxury brand retools

MarketsAssociated Press

Coach has brought in the chief financial officer at Hyatt to fill the same position at the luxury handbag and accessories company.

Also assuming the title of president, Gebhard Rainer is filling a position that has been vacant for the past year.

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Before taking over as CFO at Hyatt Hotels Corp., Gebhard was managing director for Hyatt International Europe, Africa and Middle East.

Coach is trying to refashion itself from a luxury brand selling mostly handbags into something more. That includes new lines of clothing and shoes.

Last month, Coach posted a sharp decline in fourth-quarter profit, partly due to a rash of store closings. Revenue also fell and earnings and revenue for the year declined significantly.

"His experience in driving transformation and brand building for a high touch experiential consumer business make him uniquely qualified to build upon the foundation that we've created at Coach," said CEO Victor Luis. "We expect that Gebhard's operational stewardship will be invaluable as we execute our long- term strategic plan to reinvigorate the Coach brand and return to best-in-class profitability."

The appointment at Coach is effective on Sept. 29, the company said Tuesday.