William L. McComb

Chief Executive Officer, Fifth & Pacific Companies

Photograph by Peter Foley/BloombergWilliam L. McComb is chief executive officer of Fifth & Pacific Companies and a member of the company’s board of directors.

On joining the company (formerly Liz Claiborne) in November 2006, McComb was presented with dramatically falling revenue and earnings, an overlevered balance sheet, and fading customer relationships. Over the past several years he has transformed the business by right-sizing the brand portfolio, increasing retail capabilities, building strong teams, and rationalizing global cost structures—all while strategically investing across the company to build powerful brands and position Fifth & Pacific Companies for the future.

Prior to joining Fifth & Pacific, McComb was company group chairman of Johnson & Johnson. His 15-year career at J&J centered on consumer product businesses, with additional experience both in pharmaceuticals and, most recently, in orthopaedic and neurological device businesses, for which he was directly responsible.

McComb began his career at J&J in 1992 as an assistant product director for its consumer products company. He advanced through various marketing assignments and joined Johnson & Johnson–Merck in 1995 as group product director. McComb was named vice president for marketing at McNeil Consumer Products Co. in 1999. In July 2001, he was named president of McNeil Consumer Healthcare, assuming additional responsibilities as president of McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals and Ortho Women’s Health & Urology in July 2004.

McComb serves on the boards of the American Apparel & Footwear Association and the National Retail Federation. He is also a member of the Business Roundtable. He formerly served on the boards of Business Solutions to Rural Poverty; GS1; OREF, and INROADS of Philadelphia. He was vice chairman on the executive committee of Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) and a member of the CHPA’s board of directors from 2001 to April 2005. McComb also served as a member of the Medical Devices & Diagnostics Group Operating Committee as well as the Kilts Center for Marketing’s steering committee at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Previously, he worked at the Leo Burnett advertising agency in Chicago, working on advertising for Procter & Gamble.

Born in Columbia, Mo,, McComb earned a BA degree in economics from Miami University (Ohio) and an MBA in marketing and finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

McComb and his wife are the parents of three children.

Panelist Bios