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Victorinox Swiss Army Makes U.S. Management Changes

Watches
By William George Shuster, Senior Editor
This story appears in the August 2007 issue of JCK magazine
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Victorinox A.G. this summer has made top management changes in Victorinox Swiss Army Inc., its U.S. subsidiary. The moves come as Victorinox, the 123-year-old parent firm in Ibach, Switzerland, adjusts its global initiatives and operations.

J. Merrick “Rick” Taggart in June was named president of Victorinox Swiss Army Inc., replacing Sue Rechner, who resigned a week earlier and had been president and chief executive officer since 2002. Rechner and Cheri McKenzie, vice president of global marketing, who also resigned, continue as consultants to Victorinox A.G.

Taggart was president and CEO of Victorinox Swiss Army (then called Swiss Army Brands Inc.) from 1995 through 2001. Since then, he has managed several entrepreneurial ventures and taught marketing at Mesa State College, Grand Junction, Colo.

Victorinox in midsummer changed the name of its subsidiary and watches in the United States from Swiss Army Brands to Victorinox Swiss Army Brands. The reason, said VSA officials, was to clarify the relationship between the parent firm and its U.S. subsidiary and prevent confusion with the Swiss-made Wenger watch brand, which VSA bought last year.

In June, Patty Bentley was named to the new job of vice president, field sales, North America. Bentley joined VSA in 2006 as director of sales for its western U.S. timepiece business, duty-free division, and Canada.

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