Minneapolis, Wilsons Leather has appointed Michael Searles as its new chief executive, effective Dec. 15. He will succeed Joel Waller, who has been with the specialty retailer for nearly three decades and will remain as chairman. Searles also was elected to the retailer’s board of directors.
For the past two years, Searles has served as a consultant to the retail industry. He also served as chairman and chief executive of Factory 2-U Stores, Inc. from 1998 to 2002; president of merchandising and marketing at Montgomery Ward from 1996 to 1997; and president of Kids “R” Us from 1984 to 1993.