chief merchant named president in possible succession move
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[April 01, 2014]
By Phil Wahba
NEW YORK (Reuters) — Macy's Inc <M.N>
said on Monday it promoted its chief merchandising officer, Jeffrey
Gennette, to president of the company, in a move that positions him
to potentially become the retailer's next chief executive.
In addition to continuing to serve as Macy's Inc's chief merchant,
Gennette will manage Macy's in-house brands, such as INC, which
generate 20 percent of company revenue. Gennette also oversees the
department store chain's marketing and e-commerce.
The chief executive of Macy's, Terry Lundgren, who is giving up the
title of president, declined to say whether the appointment was
connected to the company's succession planning. But he said the
promotion was an endorsement of Gennette's importance to the
"It's a clear message that this is one of our top-performing
individuals to give him such as huge responsibility," Lundgren, 62,
told Reuters in an interview.
Lundgren has been CEO since February 2003. On his watch, Macy's has
pulled ahead of rivals such as J.C. Penney Co Inc <JCP.N>, Kohl's
Corp <KSS.N> and Sears Holdings <SHLD.O> in terms of growth.
Gennette's promotion shows Macy's continues to see merchandising
skills as essential in a future CEO, said Walter Loeb, president of
retail consulting firm Loeb Associates, noting Macy's long tradition
of naming merchants to its top job.
"They've appointed an excellent merchant," Loeb said. "The only way
a retailer has a direction, a point of view for the consumer, is
through the merchandise."
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Gennette, 52, will continue to be based in New York. In his new
role, he will have no responsibility for the upscale Bloomingdale's
chain, which is owned by Macy's Inc.
Gennette has been Macy's chief merchant since 2009. He started with
Macy's in 1983, when he worked at Macy's West as an executive
trainee. Since then, his stints at the company have included CEO of
Macy's West and Macy's Northwest.
(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; editing by Steve Orlofsky and
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