Macy's (NYSE:M) has set a succession plan as long-term chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren prepares to retire in 2017.
Jeff Gennette, president of Macy's, will take over as CEO following a transition period and joins the board of directors today.
"I have been honored to lead this enterprise through a period of unprecedented reinvention," said Lundgren. "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."
"Our company must and will change in response to the profound secular forces that are driving consumer spending. I am firmly committed to, and invigorated by, the process we have begun to set a going-forward strategy in lockstep with our evolving customers," Lundgren said.
During his tenure, Macy's doubled top line sales and acquired a number of regional chains including May's and Marshall Fields, creating a national presence for both Macy's and Bloomingdale's.
"Since taking the reins in 2003, Terry Lundgren has been an outstanding leader of this company," said Marna Whittington, Macy's lead independent director. "His leadership, combined with his vision and energy, will help set the tone for the next generation of growth at Macy's, Inc. in collaboration with Jeff and the management team."
Gennette, 55, was named president of Macy's in 2014 after serving in a variety of positions that include chief merchandising officer and chairman and CEO of Macy's West.
Macy's has grown much during Lundgren's tenure, but faces significant challenges going forward as shoppers turn away from traditional department stores, spending shifts to digital platforms, and young consumers seek out fast fashion and spend on experiences over merchandise.
The retailer has recently developed new formats, expanded departments including beauty and mobile devices, and embarked on social media campaigns and style partnerships to attract younger shoppers.
"This is the time for us to be laser-focused on what is most important to our customers, and how we can best deliver the shopping experience that will secure our position as the premier omnichannel retailer of the future," Gennette said. "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. But we also must 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."
- see Macy's announcement