Lew Frankfort ’69
Chairman and CEO
When Lew Frankfort joined Coach, Inc., in 1979 as vice president of new business development, the company’s sales were just $6 million.
Mr. Frankfort, now chairman and chief executive officer, has literally transformed Coach from a cottage-industry manufacturer of leather goods into the premier American accessories brand. As of June 2008, under Mr. Frankfort’s stewardship, Coach’s annual sales reached $3.2 billion.
In his 30 years with the company, Mr. Frankfort has continued to build upon Coach’s strong customer franchise by broadening product offerings, modernizing stores, accelerating retail expansion, improving operational efficiency, and growing the brand’s international presence. At the beginning of his career at Coach, Mr. Frankfort spearheaded the development of Coach Stores and its introduction into international markets. In 1985, Coach was acquired by Sara Lee Corporation, and he was appointed president of Coach. In 1995, Mr. Frankfort was named chairman and chief executive officer. During 2000, he oversaw Coach’s transition to a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Prior to his corporate career, Mr. Frankfort held various positions in the public sector, spending 10 years in New York City government. For three of those years, he served as commissioner of the Agency for Child Development and helped restore New York’s Head Start and day care programs during the fiscal crisis of the mid-1970s.
Mr. Frankfort holds a BA from Hunter College and an MBA in marketing from Columbia Business School.
Mr. Frankfort also serves on the board of directors of Teach for America, a public-private partnership aimed at eliminating educational inequity in America.