London Fog finds a president in-house


December 16, 1993|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Staff Writer

Sometimes a new broom doesn't sweep clean, but just tidies up a bit.

Often when the person at the top changes, the occupants a rung down start packing their golden parachutes, waiting for the kick out the door.

But that didn't happen to Douglas C. Hillman, the recently appointed president of London Fog Industries Inc., the Eldersburg-based maker of rainwear and other outerwear.

After the departure of Mark H. Lieberman as chairman and chief executive officer in April, Mr. Hillman kept the top seat warm while the company's owner, Merrill Lynch Capital Partners, pondered a successor. In early reports, Mr. Hillman, who had been with London Fog for 10 years, was the odds-on-favorite for the job.

But at the end of July, Merrill Lynch choose Arnold P. Cohen, former president of J. Crew catalog retailer, as chairman and CEO.

Last month Mr. Cohen tapped John Varvatos, a top Calvin Klein executive, to be vice chairman and executive vice president, responsible for merchandising and design.

This week, Mr. Cohen gave Mr. Hillman, 47, the title of president in addition to his current position as chief operating officer. He will be in charge of wholesale and retail operations, both domestic and foreign.

"Due to Doug's thorough knowledge of the industry and our company, he has been and will continue to be a major catalyst in the success of our London Fog Industries," Mr. Cohen said.

Best Western hopes logo leads to new image

What do you get for $1 million and more than two years of market research, design and development?

A new logo.

At least that is what Best Western International Inc., the world's largest lodging chain, got.

Featuring a larger name -- Best Western now takes up 45 percent of the logo rather than 29 percent -- the new logo is being hailed as the cutting edge of an effort that will entice the 111 million travelers who have never stayed at the international chain.

Best Western has 270,000 rooms in 51 countries.

Best Western, which actually is a Phoenix-based association of 3,400 independently owned hotels, wants to shed its motel image. Member hotels have spent $1.3 billion in the past five years to become more accommodating.

"Best Western today is downtown high-rise hotels, seaside resorts, airport and convention hotels, castles in Europe and country manor houses in the United Kingdom," said Ron Evans, president and chief executive officer of Best Western.

"It includes the roadside motels that everybody has always associated with Best Western, too, but their quality is vastly improved."

The old logo belongs to the old days, with a big crown and lettering that seemed to be inspired by Roy Rogers. The new yellow and blue logo is more dignified, with a stylized red crown and roman lettering.

And who knows what a new logo will do for an organization? Look what it's done for the U.S. Postal Service.

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