News Feature | June 29, 2016

Macy's Announces Change In Leadership

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Macys Leadership Changes

Jeff Gennette to become CEO in 2017 under new planned success to support business improvement.

Macy’s, Inc. has announced that Terry Lundgren, CEO since 2003 and Chairman since 2004, will be stepping down as CEO affective as of the first quarter of 2017. Under the new planned succession, Jeff Gennette will take the reins as CEO, and Lundgren will continue as Executive Chairman of the company.

Gennette has also joined the board of directors, bringing the total number of members to 14, and he will gradually assume additional management responsibilities over the transition period.

The transition comes as Macy’s fights to right itself in light of growing competition from online commerce giant Amazon and other retailers. In the most recent quarter, Macy’s sales dropped 7.4 percent to $5.77 billion, though many of its competitors also saw declining sales.

 “I have been honored to lead this enterprise through a period of unprecedented reinvention. 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.

Lundgren acknowledged that Jeff Gennette “is an extraordinary leader who has distinguished himself as a skilled merchant and retail operator...” and that the two are “closely aligned on creating a compelling and sustainable path forward.”

“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.”

Amazon is also projected to be the largest U.S. retailer by 2020, edging out Macy’s, as Innovative Retail Technologies reported, and investment firm Cowen & Co. predicted in May that Amazon would replace Macy’s as the number one U.S. apparel retailer by next year.