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Originally published March 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified March 13, 2008 at 3:17 PM

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Tommy Bahama names new CEO

For the first time in its 15-year history, Seattle-based Tommy Bahama is getting a new chief executive. Parent company Oxford Industries...

Seattle Times business reporter

For the first time in its 15-year history, Seattle-based Tommy Bahama is getting a new chief executive.

Parent company Oxford Industries said today retail-industry veteran Terry Pillow will step in when Tommy Bahama CEO and founder Tony Margolis retires June 1.

Pillow's career in the industry spans 30 years, with previous stints at Neiman Marcus, A/X Armani Exchange, Coach and Polo Ralph Lauren.

Also on June 1, Tommy Bahama's chief operating officer, Doug Wood, will take on a second role as president.

Earlier this month, Oxford Industries warned that its 2008 profit probably would be lower than Wall Street had expected.

The Atlanta-based company, which also owns the Oxford Apparel and Ben Sherman brands, blamed sales declines in those two businesses, as well as increased marketing costs at Tommy Bahama associated with opening two new restaurant-and-retail compounds and beginning sales on its Web site.

Margolis was a sales executive with Seattle-based Generra in the 1980s when he began envisioning a new apparel line based on a fictional guy who had more than enough money to plant himself on the beach and never return to work.

In 1992, he and Bob Emfield, also in sales at Generra, enlisted Lucio Dalla Gasperina, a longtime clothing designer then at Unionbay in Seattle, to create the Tommy Bahama line.

For the past 15 years, all three have presided over Tommy Bahama's growth into a $450-million-and-up business — Margolis as CEO in New York, Emfield in charge of sales and marketing from Minneapolis, and Dalla Gasperina overseeing design and merchandising at its headquarters in South Lake Union.

After his June 1 retirement, Margolis will assume a new role as chairman of the Tommy Bahama advisory board.

Tommy Bahama employs about 250 in South Lake Union and 90 at a distribution center in Auburn.

Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or amartinez@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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