While CEO at Pacific Sunwear, Sally Frame Kasaks took some appropriate tactical actions. The problem, I conjectured at the time, was that she just didn’t “get it” when it came to the youth culture market/action sports market. Gary Schoenfeld, when he became CEO, knew that PacSun’s success ultimately depended on its ability to reconnect with its core customers and be relevant to them. No amount of tactical change and expense control, as important as those were, was going to change that. The customer had lost a reason to come into PacSun stores and had to be helped to rediscover it if PacSun was to have a future.
That implied a major organizational change that is long term, difficult, and a bit chaotic. Mr. Schoenfeld replaced almost the entire management team with the goal, I assume, of implementing a new way of thinking and approach to the business through the entire organization. He launched new marketing initiatives, closed (is closing) nonperforming stores, reintroduced the footwear that Ms. Kasaks had eliminated, localized the inventory assortment (an ongoing project), and revamped stores that needed new fixtures and merchandising (that initiative is constrained by cash flow issues).