Chico's FAS announces organizational reshuffle
American womenswear retail group Chico’s FAS, Inc. announced on Thursday that it has implemented a new, more streamlined organizational structure, revealing a string of leadership appointments associated with the move.
Chief among the changes is the appointment of Bonnie Brooks as CEO and president of the company. Brooks has served as interim CEO at Chico’s FAS since April of this year, following the resignation of Shelley Broader.
Having served on the company’s board since 2016, Brooks brings more than three decades of leadership experience to her role. Over the course of her career, she has led the turnarounds of three international department stores in her roles at Hudson's Bay Company, the Lane Crawford Joyce Group in Asia, and Holt Renfrew & Company.
The executive, who is a member of the Order of Canada, has also previously worked as global merchandise manager at Dickson Concepts (owner of Harvey Nichols, UK) and served on the board of Abercrombie & Fitch.
Explaining the decision to make Brooks’ position permanent in a release, David Walker, chair of the Chico’s FAS board said, “since being appointed interim CEO, Bonnie has moved quickly to sharpen the company's focus on core priorities that have stabilized the business and positioned Chico's FAS to deliver improved top- and bottom-line results. We received interest from a number of qualified external CEO candidates who brought deep merchant experience. The board determined, however, that the best way to build on the progress underway at this time is to appoint Bonnie as CEO.”
In an effort to streamline the company’s organizational structure, responsibility for all of Chico’s FAS’ apparel brands now lies with newly appointed president, apparel group, Molly Langenstein.
In her new role, Langenstein will oversee the operations at both the Chico's and White House Black Market brands. She joins Chico’s FAS after almost 30 years at Macy’s, where she most recently served as general business manager for ready-to-wear.
Her previous roles at the department store retailer included chief private brands officer of Macy's and Bloomingdales, and EVP of private brands for men's and children's wear at Macy's private brands, among many others.
Langenstein’s appointment is effective August 1, 2019.
Under the new organizational structure, Mary van Praag will continue to serve as president of the company’s intimates group, leading the Soma brand, as well as TellTale, the digital-first lingerie label launched by Chico’s FAS in April.
Van Praag first joined the company in September 2017 and has since driven strongly positive comps at Soma. Prior to this, she served as CEO of prestige skincare brand Perricone MD, having previously held a range of executive positions at Coty and Johnson & Johnson.
“The leadership structure announced today will strengthen the organization, create clear lines of responsibility and accelerate our sales driving priorities,” explained Brooks. “I am confident we are focused on the right areas and moving in the right direction with stronger performance expected in the second half of the year.”
On Thursday, Chico’s FAS also announced the resignation of Chico’s brand president Karen McKibbin.
The company, which has been busy trying to execute a turnaround, recently rejected an unsolicited buyout offer of $350 million from private equity firm Sycamore Partners LP.
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