David Kahn, Innovator
Mark Battersby -- Gifts & Dec, October 3, 2005
New York —The industry was plunged into shock and mourning late last week over the death of David Kahn, president and CEO of Croscill Home, an executive considered by many to be one of the best and the brightest.
Kahn took his own life on Thursday, Sept. 29, at approximately 5:35 p.m.
At press time on Friday, service arrangements were still pending.
In a memoriam, the company stated: “So many good words can be said of David — a wonderful son, brother, father, husband, employer and leader. As much as he loved product, he loved the people on his team. He saw each of us as an integral part of that team and treated every one of us with the fondness and respect of a close-knit family. The spirit of collaboration that David ceaselessly fostered produced magic here.”
Kahn led the business through a period of enormous growth, tripling it in size to nearly $300 million.
Kahn joined the family business in June 1982 as a sales rep covering New York area accounts. He was brash, energetic and often impulsive, taking an exuberant delight in the business as he grew and matured on the job.
After he was appointed vice president of marketing, Kahn engineered an industry first in 1986 – placing Croscill shops in department stores alongside designers. By 1990, 25 retail companies carried Croscill shops.
Eventually, Croscill would become one of the few companies whose name itself became a brand. Ultimately, Kahn's charisma became as much a part of the Croscill brand and franchise as the product itself.
In the late '90s, he became president. In spirit, he was always Croscill's chief product and marketing guru, building a team that valued its designers.
Four years ago, CEO was added to his title. Kahn ran the operation jointly with his brother Doug, who joined the company in 1993, and is chief operating officer of Croscill Inc. As a team, David Kahn minded the front while Doug brought operational disciplines that helped prepare the company for new levels of growth and its eventual expansion into global sourcing.
According to Croscill, “He left behind a thriving business with a strong management team. The Kahn family and his extended family at Croscill will miss David very much and are committed to carrying on his legacy.”
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