Macy’s Spring insider to replace turnaround CEO Gennette next year

By Ananya Mariam Rajesh

March 29 (Reuters)Macy’s Inc. MN Chief executive Jeff Gennette will retire next year after four decades with the U.S. department store chain, the company announced on Wednesday and named insider Tony Spring as his successor.

Spring, who has worked at Macy’s for 36 years and leads its upscale Bloomingdale unit, is being raised to ensure a smooth transition, the company said.

The management change comes as Macy’s and other department stores struggle with excess inventory, forcing them to spend more on promotions and offer deeper discounts.

Gennette, 61, stepped into the lead role in 2017 and was credited with driving Macy’s digital expansion at a time when department store sales were being hit by growing online competition.

He had rejected activist investor Jana Partners’ urge last year to split the online unit, saying Macy’s would be more profitable without a split.

During the pandemic, Gennette expedited shipments and ordered products ahead of time, helping Macy’s overcome supply chain hurdles that were hampering business for multiple retailers.

Macy’s said as CEO-designate, Spring, 58, would also lead its digital and merchandising teams, while overseeing Bloomingdale’s and the Bluemercury beauty division.

In his new role, Spring will face the challenge of cutting spending on promotions to boost margins after Macy’s earlier this month forecast annual profit well above expectations, with Gennette calling the promotions “competitive but measured”.

CFRA Research analyst Zachary Warring said Spring knows Macy’s day-to-day operations and will ensure a smooth transition into a business that is performing well in a slowing industry.

Meanwhile, Macy’s has also integrated Chief Financial Officer Adrian Mitchell’s role with Chief Operating Officer responsibilities.

“Gennette leaves the business with a proven team that understands all the dynamics, strategy and is well positioned to take the business to the next level,” said David Bassuk, global head of retail practice at the firm. consulting AlixPartners.

Macy’s shares were down about 1% in early trading.

(Reporting by Ananya Mariam Rajesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Arun Koyyur)

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