American fashion executive John D. Idol has been chief executive officer of luxury fashion brand Michael Kors since 2003 and played an instrumental role in the company’s turnaround.
“It was losing money and probably would have gone out of business had we not bought it,” said Idol to Bloomberg in 2012 of the then-struggling business, which designer Michael Kors founded in 1984. Idol acquired the Michael Kors business for $100 million in 2003, when revenue totaled $20 million, along with Hong Kong-based private equity firm Sportswear Holdings.
Since then, both sales and profitability have ballooned. Idol, who is a former chief executive of Donna Karan, helped reposition the brand as a classic, American “jet-set” lifestyle company, and Kors’ sportswear-influenced designs began to attract international attention.
In late 2012, the company went public after five consecutive years of same-store sales growth and strong profitability every quarter. The IPO also saw Idol take on the chairman role. He still retains 1 percent of the company’s shares and has sold shares for upwards of $400 million since the public offering.
According to the 2016 annual report, profit continues to grow. “ In Fiscal 2016, our retail segment reported net sales of $2.395 billion, which represented a 12.2% increase from net sales of $2.135 billion in Fiscal 2015.”
Earlier in his career, Idol also held senior positions at Ralph Lauren.