Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Retailer's Leadership to Change Stein Mart CEO Makes Plans for His Retirement

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Retailer's Leadership to Change Stein Mart CEO Makes Plans for His Retirement

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Basch, Times-Union business writer

Stein Mart Inc. Chief Executive Officer John H. "Jack" Williams Jr. said yesterday he will retire at the end of this fiscal year and turn the reins of the company over to Michael D. Fisher, who was promoted to president and chief operating officer last August.

Williams will remain as vice chairman of the board, and Gwen Manto, Stein Mart's executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, will become vice chairman of the company. Jay Stein, who retired as CEO last August, remains chairman.

The moves, which were announced at yesterday's annual shareholders meeting, represent a changing of the guard for the Jacksonville-based chain of retail fashion stores, which was built up by Stein and Williams over the last 22 years. But Fisher and Manto have had significant roles in management in recent years and will now have the chief day-to-day management responsibilities.

"Mike and Gwen have done a tremendous job of bringing the company to where we are today," Williams said. "Jay and I have the utmost confidence in their abilities."

Fisher said his upcoming promotion to CEO will not mark a shift in direction for the company. "We bring a different perspective," he said. But Fisher and Manto have had a big say in company decisions in recent years.

The changes were not unexpected. When Stein retired last August and Williams was promoted to CEO, Fisher was promoted from executive vice president to president. Analysts assumed that Fisher, 54, was being groomed to succeed Williams, who will turn 65 later this year.

"I didn't expect Jack to hang around for three or four more years," said Robin S. Murchison, an analyst at Hibernia Southcoast Capital in New Orleans. "But it's a little bit sooner than what I was thinking would happen."

Williams said he had not decided when to retire when he was promoted to CEO last August. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.