LOS ANGELES, Aug. 3, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Oliver Peoples, one of the world's most recognized and respected luxury eyewear brands and wholly owned subsidiary of Oakley, Inc. (NYSE:OO), today announced that it has appointed David Schulte as chief executive officer and president, effective immediately. Mr. Schulte brings more than 15 years of strategic operational, financial, marketing and retail experience to his new role and will report directly to Larry Leight, founder of Oliver Peoples, who will continue to serve as the company's chairman and creative director.
"I am very enthusiastic about working with David and believe his skills and experience are a perfect fit for where we see the company going in the future," said Larry Leight, founder and chairman, Oliver Peoples, Inc. "We have consistently strived to go outside the box with our view of the industry and given the current business climate, where luxury, fashion and entertainment converge, it was imperative to find a leader equipped with the experience and vigor to execute on our diverse opportunities."
"Our acquisition by Oakley earlier in the year continues to strengthen our operational capabilities and will enhance our brand's ability to grow," concluded Leight. "As we enter into our next chapter, we believe David is well-positioned to capitalize on these opportunities and drive the strategic initiatives necessary for a solid future."
"Oliver Peoples is an incredibly prestigious company and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to build on the successful foundation that Larry and the Oliver Peoples' team have established," said David Schulte, chief executive officer and president, Oliver Peoples, Inc. "The incredible brand strength and reputation, along with Oakley's infrastructure, empower us to bring Oliver Peoples into the next stage of its evolution. I look forward to playing an integral role in this process."
Prior to Oliver Peoples, Mr. Schulte founded and served as managing partner of The DCS Group, LLC, a boutique fashion and entertainment private equity based firm, which participated in principal investment transactions involving Italian athletic brand Lotto, C.C. Filson and Wellspring Film Studio (now owned by The Weinstein Company through its acquisition of Genius). The DCS Group's advisory business also included work for such prestigious companies as LVMH, Richemont and Jovovich-Hawk. Mr. Schulte will continue to maintain an interest in the firm, overseeing select principal investments in a board capacity.
Prior to DCS Group, Mr. Schulte was a partner and the president of brands at The Firm, the world's largest music and talent management company. While there, he founded and oversaw the principal investment division of the company including joint ventures with Virgin Drinks Business, the acquisition and sale of PONY and the major brand activities of top celebrity clients.
About Oliver Peoples, Inc.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, Oliver Peoples was co-founded in 1986 by optician and designer Larry Leight. Oliver Peoples has built a loyal following through marketing and sales strategies unique unto no other in the eyewear industry. The company currently has distribution in more than 45 countries worldwide and operates five retail stores located in New York (2 stores), Los Angeles, Costa Mesa and Tokyo. The Oliver Peoples premium collection is sought after by the most progressive and influential professionals, including many in the entertainment industry. The Paul Smith Spectacles collection, launched in 1994, includes prescription eyewear and sunglasses featuring whimsical yet classic designs and attention to detail synonymous with Britain's leading fashion designer, Paul Smith. Launched in 2005, Mosley Tribes is a modern lifestyle brand fusing utility and style. To view select Oliver Peoples styles online, please visit www.oliverpeoples.com.
Safe Harbor Disclaimer
Oliver Peoples is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oakley, Inc. (NYSE:OO) herein defined as 'company.' This press release contains certain statements of a forward-looking nature. Such statements are made pursuant to the "forward-looking statements" and "safe harbor" provisions within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"). Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to growth and strategies, future operating and financial results, financial expectations and current business indicators and typically identified by the use of terms such as "look," "may," "will," "should," "might," "believe," "plan," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate" and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently. The accuracy of such statements may be impacted by a number of business risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or anticipated, including but not limited to: risks related to the sale of new sunglass and electronics product introductions; execution of anticipated restructuring and realignment of product categories; the company's ability to integrate and operate acquisitions; the company's ability to manage rapid growth; new and existing channel inventory management risks related to the limited visibility of future sunglass orders associated with the company's "at once" production and fulfillment business model; the ability to identify qualified manufacturing partners; the ability to coordinate product development and production processes with those partners; the ability of those manufacturing partners and the company's internal production operations to increase production volumes on raw materials and finished goods in a timely fashion in response to increasing demand and enable the company to achieve timely delivery of finished goods to its customers; the ability to provide adequate fixturing to existing and future retail customers to meet anticipated needs and schedules; the dependence on optics sales to Luxottica Group S.p.A, which, as a major competitor, could materially alter or terminate its relationship with the company; the company's ability to expand and grow its distribution channels and its own retail operations; unanticipated changes in general market conditions or other factors, which may result in cancellations of advance orders or a reduction in the rate of reorders placed by retailers; a weakening of economic conditions could continue to reduce demand for products sold by the company and could adversely affect profitability, especially of the company's retail operations; terrorist acts, or the threat thereof, could adversely affect consumer confidence and spending, could interrupt production and distribution of product and raw materials and could, as a result, adversely affect the company's operations and financial performance; the ability of the company to integrate licensing arrangements without adversely affecting operations and the success of such initiatives; the ability to continue to develop and produce innovative new products and introduce them in a timely manner; the acceptance in the marketplace of the company's new products and changes in consumer preferences; reductions in sales of products, either as the result of economic or other conditions, or reduced consumer acceptance of a product, could result in a buildup of inventory; the ability to source raw materials and finished products at favorable prices to the company; the potential impact of periodic power crises on the company's operations including temporary blackouts at the company's facilities; foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; earthquakes or other natural disasters; the company's ability to identify and successfully execute cost control initiatives; the impact of quotas, tariffs, or safeguards on the importation or exportation of the company's products and other risks outlined in the company's SEC filings, including but not limited to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005 and other filings made periodically by the company. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The company undertakes no obligation to update this forward-looking information. Nonetheless, the Company reserves the right to make such updates from time to time by press release, periodic report or other method of public disclosure without the need for specific reference to this press release. No such update shall be deemed to indicate that other statements not addressed by such update remain correct or create an obligation to provide any other updates.
Oliver Peoples, Inc. Michelle Lynn Walnum, Public Relations Director (323) 951-0010