Macy’s Changes CEO in Midst of Reorganization

As Jeff Gennette assumes the president & CEO responsibilities at Macy’s, he will have to examine strategies designed to improve performance, including evaluation of many of its stores.
Jeff Gennette, Macy's Inc.

Jeff Gennette, Macy’s Inc.

Cincinnati—A few months after announcing plans to close down more of its stores, Macy’s is making headlines again. The company is getting ready to undergo some big executive changes, as longtime chairman & CEO Terry Lundgren will transition the position of CEO to Jeff Gennette in the first quarter of 2017. Lundgren will continue his work as executive chairman and work side-by-side with Gennette, who was elected president of the company back in 2014.

Gennette has now joined Macy’s board of directors and will take on additional management responsibilities throughout the transition period—including overseeing the organization of Macy’s stores.

Macy’s suffered a weak sales performance in the first quarter of 2016, and has already begun making changes this year with the announced closing of 36 stores in addition to the four closed in 2015. At that time, Lundgren said the closings were part of a “series of cost-efficiency and process improvement measures to be implemented beginning in early 2016.”

“While our company is larger, stronger and more resourceful than we were 13 years ago, now is the time to reset our business model to thrive in a future that is being driven by rapid evolution in consumer preferences and shopping habits,” said Lundgren in a statement. “Our company must and will change in response to the profound secular forces that are driving consumer spending.”

Prior to his appointment as Macy’s president in 2014, Jeff Gennette served as the company’s chief merchandising officer since 2009. Prior to that, Gennette served as chairman & CEO of Macy’s West in San Francisco. Gennette’s track record also includes positions with FAO Schwartz and Broadway Stores Inc. Born in San Diego, Gennette is a graduate of Stanford University.

“We have successfully navigated our way through changing customer trends in the past and there is no doubt that Macy’s Inc. will need to be a significantly different retailer in the future in the way we operate and approach the marketplace,” stated Gennette. “But we must also continue to tackle our immediate priorities with vigor and discipline. Terry and I have an outstanding relationship and we will continue to collaborate closely through this CEO transition process.”

Image courtesy of WCPO Cincinnati