Alexander Smith, who resigned as senior executive vice president of TJX Companies earlier this week, has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Pier 1 Imports, the troubled Fort Worth, Texas-based home merchandise chain.

As CEO, Smith will succeed Marvin Girouard, who will retire 19 February. The new CEO will also take his predecessor's seat on Pier 1's board of directors.

Smith's resignation came to light in a regulatory filing made by TJX with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this week. At the same time, the company disclosed that Gary Crittenden, executive VP and chief financial officer of American Express, had resigned from the board of TJX.

Calls seeking comment from TJX about Crittenden's resignation weren't returned. His departure coincides with the recent announcement by TJX of a breach in its computerised customer transaction records.

TJX is working with credit- and debit-card companies on customer notification, but it isn't known whether Crittenden's resignation is in any way related to the hacking problem.

Based in Framingham, Massachusetts, TJX is the largest US-based off-price retailer with nameplates including TJ Maxx, Marshalls, AJ Wright, HomeGoods and Bob's Stores.

Early in his TJX tenure, Smith had been affiliated with the TK Maxx, which operates in the UK.
By Arnold J Karr.