Finding New Management
After buying out Gunther, I needed to find qualified help. Although Chip had declared himself a managing partner, he was not qualified for the job. I don’t believe he had ever managed a company before—something that caused a number of internal problems. Managing the crises in Japan as well as a growing fashion company in the United States was too much responsibility for me alone. I wanted to delegate the logistical operations and the maintenance areas of management, but I needed the right person to fill that role. So far, Bob Oliver had been helping, but I couldn’t kid myself; there was no way he would or could take on the position of president or chief officer of operations. Oliver had his own matters to which he had to attend. Therefore, my last request of him was to help in the search for someone new to be my eyes and ears on US soil and help run the Anne Klein Company.
I didn’t have too much time, but it was important that I find someone I could trust to handle such a large investment. I needed a full-time manager with some experience to help build the business according to my vision. Since I had little exposure to American fashion, I didn’t know where to begin looking. I asked Oliver for a good headhunter, and he directed me to Ken Langstaff from Ward Howell International.
I would have preferred to interview a long list of potential candidates, but I could not. I had to trust Ken’s, then Oliver’s judgment. Ken sent Oliver a list of potential ...