Gennette succeeds Terry Lundgren, who has held the role of CEO since 2003 and will continue as executive chairman

Gennette succeeds Terry Lundgren, who has held the role of CEO since 2003 and will continue as executive chairman

Jeff Gennette has officially taken the reins at US department store retailer Macy's after a unanimous election by the company's board of directors yesterday (23 March).

The move, first announced in June of last year, is part of a succession plan that included Gennette's election as president in 2014, and is intended to support upcoming − but as yet unannounced − strategies for business improvement.

As previously announced, Gennette succeeds Terry Lundgren, who has held the role of CEO since 2003 and will continue as executive chairman.

Macy's names Gennette CEO to succeed Lundgren

"Jeff will be a terrific CEO for Macy's, Inc.," says Lundgren. "He has a deep knowledge of this company, coupled with the vision and determination to continue Macy's transformation for the next generation. Jeff has a proven track record as a successful retail operator, seasoned merchant and business leader and has contributed significantly to the company's long history of success.

"I've been honoured to lead this great company, am thrilled to be passing the baton to such an exceptional leader, and look forward to my continued role on the board of directors."

Prior to CEO, Gennette served as Macy's president and chief merchandising officer, the latter position to which he was appointed in February 2009.

"It's a very meaningful day for me as I take on leadership of the company I've worked for and the colleagues I've worked with for more than 30 years," he adds. "I'm honoured to be taking on this role and excited about Macy's prospects. While we certainly have our challenges, we also have great assets and opportunity. No company is better up to the task of re-invention than Macy's.

"I want to personally thank Terry Lundgren for his leadership, his mentorship, and the support he has shown me over my career at Macy's. Terry is a legend in retail and no one could have asked for a better teacher."

With fiscal 2016 sales of US$25.8bn, and approximately 140,000 employees, Macy's operates more than 700 department stores in 45 states under the nameplates Macy's and Bloomingdale's, and approximately 125 specialty stores that include Bloomingdale's The Outlet, Bluemercury and Macy's Backstage.

Last month, Lundgren said the company will "do the right thing" for its shareholders in the wake of rumours it may be seeking a buyer.

Macy's will "do the right thing", says Lundgren

Meanwhile, the retailer saw both earnings and sales fall in its fourth-quarter, and said it expects total sales to be down between 3.2%-4.3% in fiscal 2017, reflecting the 66 stores closed in 2016. 

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