Last Friday, Lenox Corporation announced that it will be shuttering its’ Hospitality Division.
The move comes on the heels of the board of directors appointing Mads Ryder as the brand’s new CEO late last year. A native of Denmark, Ryder came to the Lenox from top leadership roles in several European companies, including LEGO Group, Weight Watchers, IC Group—and most notably, Royal Copenhagen, where he cultivated an enthusiasm for the brand’s dinnerware among young consumers.
The timing comes on the “eve” of the opening of the NAFEM Show in Orlando slated for this week. Industry officials on the show floor indicated the Lenox booth space has in fact been set up and is ready for the opening of the show. The move comes in response to the Lenox board’s mandate to Ryder.
“We admire Mads’s impressive track record of building brands and effective organizations,” says Marc Utay, Lenox’s board chairman. “While he was CEO of Royal Copenhagen, we watched [him] reposition one of the tabletop industry’s most prestigious, though aging, brands into what is now a highly relevant and vibrant brand in Denmark and Japan.”
The elimination of the hospitality division at Lenox is the first move of Ryder’s new regime.
“Being handed a 130-year-old American brand is a privilege. Lenox has so much to it, and I’m honored to be heading up the team to make sure we get the company back to where we were,” Ryder said. “As you know, dinnerware and the tabletop [category] is not where people necessary invest to the extent that they used to. We need to change that—and we can.”
Ryder took over for Brian Gowen, who led the company as interim CEO since Katrina Helmkamp’s departure in June, and will continue to serve as the company’s COO.
Lenox Corporation is a market leader in quality tabletop, giftware and collectibles. The company markets its products under the Lenox, Dansk and Gorham brands. A shared commitment to quality and design puts their brands among the best known and respected in the industry. Collectively, they span 340 years of tabletop and giftware expertise.