Playtex chief executive to leave after 22 years

Sara Lee Intimates UK chief executive John Dixey, the man credited with regenerating the Playtex and Wonderbra brands, has left the company after 22 years to pursue other interests.

Dixey oversaw the integration of Sara Lee Intimates UK with its Scandinavian counterpart and created a Northern European division. He has decided to leave now that the move has been completed.

Kirk Adkins, president of Sara Lee European hosiery division, has been appointed to head the merged division. He took over as vice-president of Sara Lee branded apparel, Northern Europe, earlier this month and will report to Sara Lee branded apparel European chief executive Jacques Michaud.

The decision to merge the two divisions was announced by Michaud at the end of last year as part of a new strategy for the business, which includes introducing more consistency across its brand portfolio. It has also created two divisions: Central Europe and Southern Europe.

Dixey took over as Playtex managing director in 1994. During his time at the company, he helped make Wonderbra a household name and rejuvenated the Playtex brand.

He became general manager for Northern Europe in 2001. His promotion led to the appointment of Nick Houghton as managing director of Playtex UK and Stephen Holbrook as UK marketing director. Their roles are unaffected by Dixey’s departure.

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