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Lew Frankfort profile

  • Story Highlights
  • Began career with Coach in 1979
  • Oversaw transition to pubic listed company now worth over $1 billion
  • Before Coach worked for New York City local government
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CNN -- Lew Frankfort joined Coach in 1979 as the Vice President of New Business Development and quickly rose up the ranks, taking the role of president of Coach in 1985 when the company was acquired by Sara Lee.


In 1995 he was appointed CEO and from then he helped steward what was once a rather bland leather-goods company into one of the most popular accessory brands in the world.

The company is now worth over $2 billion and has established itself as a rival to esteemed European luxury brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

Updating the image of Coach was one of his top priorities as CEO, employing Reed Krakoff, who had previously worked for Tommy Hilfiger, to reinvigorate the designs of the bags and create a more stylish line of products.

During the first boom of the late 1990's he recognized the value of an e-commerce branch to the business with the creation of

As a result of separating from parent company Sara Lee, Frankfort oversaw Coach's transition to a public limited company when it was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2000.


Prior to his life with Coach, Frankfort spent ten years working in local government in New York. He held various positions serving as Commissioner for the New York City Agency for Child Development and was responsible for restoring the city's child day care programs during New York's fiscal crises in the mid-1970's.

Holding a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hunter College, Frankfort completed his MBA in Marketing from Columbia University. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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