Housewares industry veteran Robert Edmund Reichenbach, Lifetime Brands EVP and president of the cutlery and cutting board and cookware and bakeware divisions, has died. He was also president of the Cookware Manufacturers Association.
“Bob was both a friend and a most valuable associate who inspired all of us,” said Jeff Siegel, chairman and CEO of Lifetime Brands. “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, who amassed more than 40 years of experience in the housewares and retail industries, joined Lifetime Brands in 2001 as president of the cutlery and cutting board and cookware and bakeware divisions, and was promoted to EVP of the company in 2002. He helped to launch and grow several brands for the company including Sabatier, KitchenAid and Guy Fieri.
His team recalls his enthusiasm for developing ideas for new products, as well as his 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/CMO, cutlery and cutting board division “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/CMO cookware and bakeware division. “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 Brands, Reichenbach served as SVP/GMM at Linens`n Things. Reichenbach also spent 23 years at Federated Department Stores, as SVP/GMM for the home division of the A&S/Jordan Marsh unit, and as chairman of the Federated Corporation Housewares Committee.
Reichenbach died on Dec. 10 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.
The wake will take place Friday, Dec. 13 from 5-9 p.m. at the Edwin L. Bennett Funeral Home, 824 Scarsdale Ave., Scarsdale, N.Y. The funeral will take place Saturday, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, 91 Secor Road, Scarsdale, N.Y.