LNK hires former Levi’s chief executive

The retail-focused private equity firm has hired consumer products veteran Phil Marineau as partner. Marineau will join the former heads of office goods company Staples and apparel company Phillips-Van Heusen.

Consumer retail specialist LNK Partners has hired Levi Strauss & Co president and chief executive Phil Marineau as partner.

Prior to joining Levi’s, Marineau was president and chief executive of Pepsi North America. He joined Pepsi after serving as president and chief operating officer of dairy distributor Dean Foods Company where he “led the successful repositioning of milk as a beverage”, according to the LNK website.

Earlier, Marineau spent 23 years at the Quaker Oats Company where he played a key role in building the Gatorade brand and ultimately became president.

In his operating role at LNK he will join Henry Nasella, the former president of office supplies chain Staples, and Bruce Klatsky, the former chief executive of luxury goods conglomerate Phillips-Van Heusen.

Led by David Landau, the former head of Apax Partners’ US retail/consumer group, LNK closed its debut fund in May 2006 on $400 million, now roughly 40 percent invested. In December 2006 it did its first deal, investing $61 million in equestrian clothier Ariat International. In January 2008, the firm acquired casual café franchise Au Bon Pain for $250 million.