Michael Appel has over 30 years of experience as a strategic advisor and retail and consumer goods executive, providing services to retailers and specialty retailers including Fortunoff, Bloomingdales, and Hoffritz for Cutlery. He has been retained by Goldman Sachs and other Private Equity/Lender Groups as Interim CEO and CRO for several well-known retailers and specialty consumer product companies such as Laura Ashley (North America) Inc., Barney’s, Wilkes-Bashford, and Baccarat, Inc. He has also provided strategic advisory, due diligence, and expert witness consulting services to retailers, financial institutions, consumer product and service companies including Ford Motor Co., Castle Harlan and American International Group Inc. (AIG).
Most recently, Michael has been providing turnaround management, performance improvement, and due diligence consulting services to retail, consumer goods and private equity clients through Appel Associates, an advisory firm he originally founded in 1991. He is currently serving on various Boards including Rue 21 (Chairman), Things Remembered (Lead Director, Chairman of Compensation Committee), and Master Cutlery (Director). Other Boards on which he has served include Loehmann’s Inc. as Chairman of the Board, Charming Shoppes as Chairman of the Compensation Committee, Mattress Discounters, Barth & Dreyfuss and the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising Fashion Education Foundation.
Michael has been sought out by Boards and other stakeholders as Interim CEO to turnaround and stabilize a variety of specialty retailers, including Caswell-Massey, HCI Direct and MacKenzie Childs. From 2001-2003, Mr. Appel served as Financial Advisor to the Creditor’s Committee of Kasper ASL, a leading manufacturer of women’s apparel under the Kasper and Anne Klein brands. After conducting a comprehensive strategic and operating review, a turnaround plan was developed and successfully implemented, and in December 2003 the Jones Group completed the acquisition of Kasper for an aggregate transaction value of $270 million. For his work on Kasper, the Turnaround Management Association awarded Mr. Appel its Large Company Turnaround of the Year Award.
Michael graduated from Brandeis University (Phi Beta Kappa) and from the Harvard Business School (MBA with Distinction). He serves on the Global Board of the Turnaround Management Association and the Board of the TMA New York Chapter, and was previously Chairman of the TMA Awards Committee. Michael is a member of the Advisory Board of FIT’s Global Fashion Management MA Program, and is a member of the Fashion Group.
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