Housewares industry veteran Robert Edmund Reichenbach, Lifetime Brands Inc. evp and president cutlery/cutting boards, cookware/bakeware divisions and also president of the Cookware Manufacturers Association (CMA), has passed. Reichenbach had amassed more than 40 years of experience in the housewares and retail industries.
“Bob was both a friend and a most valuable associate who inspired all of us,” said Jeff Siegel, chairman and CEO of Lifetime Brands, Inc. “He was a truly dedicated executive, who from the day he was diagnosed with cancer, did everything he could to ensure that his division would continue to prosper without him. When I visited him last week, all he wanted to talk about was what I should do to follow his succession plan. I will truly miss him.”
Reichenbach joined Lifetime Brands in 2001 as president cutlery/cutting boards and bakeware division, and was promoted to evp of the company in 2002. Reichenbach was known for his use of the retailing method “identify, intensify and exploit” for his categories, the company said. Reichenbach helped launch and grow several brands from the company including Sabatier, KitchenAid and Guy Fieri. The company also noted that he was known for his enthusiasm for developing ideas for new products and dedication to training and developing newcomers and interns.
“Bob created a foundation of trust, honesty, and integrity, and had an incredible passion for the products and people he worked with,” said Stephen Spitz, svp and CMO for the cutlery/cutting board division, Lifetime Brands, Inc. “Family was especially important to Bob. He lived life to the fullest, with many interests including travel, golf, basketball, and a love of motorcycles; he was an active member of H.O.G.”
“In the last few months while Bob was fighting his illness he set an example of courage, humility, and true professionalism for everyone at Lifetime Brands,” added Mary Regan, svp and CMO of the cookware/bakeware division at Lifetime Brands, Inc. “Bob will be remembered as a special person, a true professional who loved innovation, developing products, and mentoring and training the next generation to carry on his passion for the housewares industry. He created ‘Lifetime University,’ an internship program that trained many existing Lifetime Brands employees, as well as industry employees. This will be a living legacy to his commitment to the retail community.”
Prior to joining Lifetime, Reichenbach was svp/gmm at Linens ‘N Things. Reichenbach also spent 23 years at Federated Department Stores, holding positions including svp/gmm for the home division of the A&S/Jordan Marsh unit, and chairman of the Federated Corporation Housewares Committee.
Reichenbach died on December 10, 2013 from cancer at the age of 65. He is survived by his wife Virginia (Ginny), daughters Noelle and Nicole, stepsons Victor and Jay, and three sisters Grace, Ann and Cathy.