Bendheim, Colibri Split Over ‘Differences’

Thomas Bendheim, president and chief executive officer of The Colibri Group, has left the company, effective Wednesday, due to “differences of opinion on the future direction of the company,” according to a brief statement from the Providence, R.I.-based supplier to jewelers.

Company board of directors named Jim Fleet as the new president and CEO, which became effective Thursday. In the statement, Colibri said that Bendheim left “to pursue other interests.”

Bendheim was named president and CEO of Colibri, which designs, manufactures, and markets branded accessories, in December, 2005, by the investors group that bought Colibri in June from Frederick N. Levinger, who built the company into a $100 million business.

Bendheim succeeded Levinger, who resigned a few months later as a nonexecutive chairman of the company.

Bendheim has a strong background in marketing, sales, corporate management, and “spotting competitive advantages and highlighting where to grow,” Bendheim told JCK in January, 2006. He’s also known for business turnarounds, including reviving the Rheingold beer company and Dooney & Bourke, a marketer of luxury handbags.

Bendheim also held senior management and marketing positions at PepsiCo and Lenox Brands. Earlier in his career, he held management consulting positions with McKinsey & Company and Bain & Company, serving clients primarily in the consumer goods and retail sectors.

He lectures at the Stern School of Business at New York University, where a recent business school case was written on Rheingold, Yeshiva College, and the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the featured commencement speaker in May of 2004.

He earned a B.A., magna cum laude, from Tufts University, and, as a Lauder Institute Fellow, received an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business and an M.A. in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.