Four AlixPartners professionals to be honored with Turnaround Management Association’s 'Turnaround of the Year' awards

06 September 2018

Recognitions stem from AlixPartners’ work at Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, BCBG Max Azria, and Eastern Outfitters

NEW YORK (September 6, 2018) - AlixPartners, the global consulting firm, today announced that four of its consultants have been selected as winners by the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) for its prestigious “Turnaround and Transaction of the Year” awards, to be presented in late September at the TMA’s annual meeting, known as The Annual.

The AlixPartners consultants are:

  • Randall Eisenberg, a Managing Director in AlixPartners’ Turnaround and Restructuring practice, is being recognized in the “Mega Company Turnaround of the Year” category, for his role as Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO) of Caesars Entertainment Operating Company Inc.
  • Holly Etlin, a Managing Director in the same practice, is being recognized in the “Large Company Turnaround of the Year” category, for her role as CRO of BCBG Max Azria Group LLC.
  • Deb Rieger-Paganis, a Managing Director in the same practice, is also being recognized in the “Large Company Turnaround of the Year” category, for her role as Interim CFO of BCBG Max Azria Group.
  • Spencer Ware, a Director in the same practice, is being recognized in the “Mid-Sized Company Transaction” category, for his role as CRO of Eastern Outfitters LLC.

The awards will be handed out at the conference called the TMA Annual, which this year also marks TMA’s 30th anniversary, on Sept. 26 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“To have even one of our professionals recognized by the TMA for these awards is thrilling, but to have four of our people to be recognized, across three different engagements, is truly special,” said Lisa Donahue, Global Leader of the Turnaround and Restructuring practice at AlixPartners and a Managing Director at the firm. “We like to think of AlixPartners as the ‘when-it-really-matters’ firm, and the experience, dedication, and hard work displayed not only by these professionals but by all the AlixPartners people involved in these engagements is a testament to the fact that’s really true.”

Below is a brief synopsis of each engagement:

Caesars Entertainment Operating Company

Described by the bankruptcy court as a "monumental achievement,” the reorganization was the result of a more than three-year, in- and out-of-court process during which the gaming and hospitality icon engaged with its creditors and equity-holders to reach a consensual resolution involving more than $18 billion of obligations.  During that time and as part of the restructuring, a now publicly traded REIT was established which contained more than $8 billion in real-estate assets, a series of value-enhancing operational improvement programs were implemented, capital investments were made to preserve brand equity in this fiercely competitive industry, and a massive deleveraging of the company’s balance sheet was also achieved.

BCBG Max Azria

At a time of unprecedented distress in the retail sector, BCBG Max Azria stands out as an example of a large retailer that successfully restructured through the bankruptcy process, resulting in a sale of the core business. The AlixPartners team was able to arrange a plan with Guggenheim Partners, the company’s sponsor, to provide additional liquidity which assisted in stabilizing the business. The company was able to restore flow of product, shed excess costs and ancillary business operations, make key management changes, and show strong operating results.  By creating a viable going‐forward business, the company attracted the interest of several buyers and was able to consummate a transaction, preserving jobs and providing recoveries for creditors beyond what they would have received had the company liquidated.

Eastern Outfitters

Eastern Outfitters comprised two separate retailers—Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports—and had first filed for bankruptcy in April 2016. Nine months later, after a potential buyer of the company backed out at the eleventh hour, the AlixPartners team was brought in to prepare, initially, for a liquidation of the business through another Chapter 11. However, the team also worked on a parallel path to extend timelines before liquidation, should another buyer emerge. After much work, and only hours before the liquidation was set to happen, a buyer did appear: Sports Direct International PLC, a leading British retailer.


About AlixPartners

AlixPartners is a results-driven global consulting firm that specializes in helping businesses successfully address their most complex and critical challenges. Our clients include companies, corporate boards, law firms, investment banks, private equity firms, and others. Founded in 1981, AlixPartners is headquartered in New York, and has offices in more than 20 cities around the world. For more information, visit

About the Turnaround Management Association

TMA Global is a leading organization dedicated to turnaround management, corporate restructuring, and distressed investing. Established in 1988, TMA celebrates its 30th anniversary with more than 9,000 members in 49 chapters worldwide, including 32 in North America. Members include turnaround practitioners, attorneys, accountants, investors, lenders, venture capitalists, appraisers, liquidators, executive recruiters, and consultants, as well as academic, government, and judicial employees.