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Michael Glimcher steps down from the company founded by his father

BY Al Urbanski

WP Glimcher announced that CEO and vice chairman Michael Glimcher has resigned from the REIT founded by his father, Herbert. Board member Louis Conforti was named interim CEO at the company slated to be rebranded as the Washington Prime Group.

Several other senior leadership changes were announced, including the replacement of Mark Ordan as board chairman with Robert J. Laikin, who had been the board’s lead independent director. Ordan stays on as a director.

The former Glimcher Realty Trust was acquired in January 2015 by the Washington Prime Group, which pledged to fast-track growth with enhanced cash flow and a more diverse group of assets. Ordan said at the time that WP Glimcher would explore asset sales and look to strengthen its asset base by “strategically acquiring new properties in both enclosed and open air large format shopping centers that have a long term place in their markets.”

In 2008, when the company was saddled with $1.7 billion in debt and its stock was trading below $1, Michael Glimcher staged a turnaround by reducing the REIT’S debt-to-capitalization ratio and focused on acquiring high-end regional malls. Five years later, its shares were trading at $11 and investors reaped an annualized return of 38%, compared to an average of 17.3% on the Bloomberg REIT Large Cap Index.

The 48-year-old Glimcher, who had been his company’s CEO since 2005, maintains a high profile in the industry. He serves on the NAREIT board of governors, the ICSC board of Trustees, and is a member of The Real Estate Roundtable’s international council.

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Lands’ End names new marketing chief in leadership shakeup

BY CSA STAFF

Specialty apparel retailer Lands' End is making a number of new executive appointments in the marketing and merchandising areas of the company.

Most significantly, Lands’ End is promoting Becky Gebhardt to executive VP and chief marketing officer for Lands' End. In this new role, Gebhardt will lead all aspects of creative and marketing. Previously, she served as senior VP and chief creative officer since May 2014 and has been with the company in different stages since 1991.

"As I look at all of the opportunities to grow Lands' End as a global brand, the role of CMO is crucial to our success as we continue to connect with our long-term, loyal customers, and introduce the brand to new customers in innovative and meaningful ways," said Federica Marchionni, CEO, Lands' End. "Becky's extensive knowledge of Lands' End, her proven track record as a business leader for directing brand and creative efforts for multichannel businesses, along with her 20-plus years of industry expertise focused on consumer brands and customer experiences makes her the ideal candidate, and we are excited to have her at the helm leading this critical function."

Gebhardt will oversee the marketing and creative teams, ensuring the development of integrated customer strategies and campaigns, including brand advertising, catalog, e-commerce and digital brand marketing, social media and retail marketing.

In addition, Lands’ End announced Mike Zhang recently joined the company as VP, e-commerce, digital marketing and innovation. In this role, he will work closely with Mike Holahan, promoted to senior VP, multi-channel marketing. Zhang brings 20 years of marketing experience at a variety of companies, including a brand management leadership role at Procter & Gamble from 1995-1999.

Holahan, who has been with Lands' End since 2008, has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, insights and data analytics, including seven years as VP of marketing at Victoria’s Secret Direct. He will play an influential role overseeing catalog marketing efforts, business analytics and consumer insights.

Both positions will report directly to Gebhardt. Lands’ End is also expanding the role of Angie Rieger, senior VP of inventory management and planning, to help drive the U.S. Direct business. Rieger, who has nearly 25 years of experience in inventory management and planning, served as senior director of planning at Lands’ End from 1991-2007. She then spent three years as a merchandising executive at The Douglas Stewart Company before returning to Lands’ End in 2010. She will report directly to Jim Gooch, CFO/COO.

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Victoria’s Secret exec joining department store retailer

BY CSA STAFF

Belk Inc. is expanding its senior leadership team.

The company, which operates 293 stores in 16 Southern states, named Randy Whitaker as executive VP, chief stores officer, effective June 27. He comes to Belk after more than 15 years at Victoria’s Secret, having most recently served as executive VP of store operations. His previous roles at Victoria’s Secret include senior VP of finance, real estate and stores, and VP of real estate integration.

As chief stores officer, Whitaker will oversee Belk’s stores organization, which includes three store divisions, store operations, real estate, and merchandising presentation.

In addition, Belk appointed Ron Garrow as executive VP, chief people officer, effective July 11. He joins Belk after more than six years at MasterCard, having most recently served as chief human resources officer. Prior to MasterCard, Ron worked at Bank of America during a six-year period, and spent 19 years at Wachovia in various human resources roles.

As chief people officer, Garrow will oversee Belk’s human resources and communications departments.

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