Express CEO Michael Weiss to retire in 2015

Express CEO Michael Weiss, who has been with the company since 1980 when it was a small eight-store operation, has announced that he will retire as CEO on January 30, 2015 when the company's fiscal year ends.

Express (NYSE:EXPR), which now has 600 store locations, will replace Weiss with current president David Kornberg, who will take on Weiss's role as an addition to his current position. Kornberg joined Express in 1999 after working at Marks & Spencer (LON:MKS) and was named president in 2012. Weiss, 73, will remain with Express as nonexecutive chairman of the board.

"It's been a joy and a privilege to lead this incredible business since its inception 34 years ago," Weiss said in a statement. "I will be leaving Express in the hands of a deep and talented management team, and I am confident that under David's direction, the company will successfully evolve into an omnichannel brand."

The shakeup preludes a potential buyout. Private equity firm Sycamore Partners noted a 9.9 percent stake in Express and said it was interested in maintaining due diligence that could eventually yield a buyout, reported Chain Store Age. Express recently reported a 10 percent drop in net sales and an 11 percent drop in same-store sales for its first quarter, according to the report. Story

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