Fashion retailer Stein Mart Inc on Monday (27 August) named Linda McFarland Farthing as its new president and chief executive officer following the resignation of Michael D Fisher.

The Jacksonville, Florida based company did give a reason for Fisher's resignation, which is effective immediately. Fisher had served as president and CEO since 2003 and his departure is effective immediately.

Ms Farthing, who has been a member of the Stein Mart board of directors since 1999 and chair of the company's audit committee since 2003, will assume her new duties on 24 September.

She previously served as president, chief operating officer and director of The Cato Corporation from 1990-97 and president, chief operating officer and director of Friedman's Inc in 1998.

Prior to those roles, she was senior vice president and general merchandising manager for the JB Ivey Company, a Charlotte, NC-based regional department store chain, for 11 years.

Stein Mart also added two new members to its board of directors: Ralph Alexander, who recently served as CEO of Innovene, a subsidiary of BP Plc; and Susan Falk, group president of women's wear at Hartmarx Corp.

Last week the retailer posted a 73% slump in second quarter profit, and lowered its outlook for the third quarter.