Williams-Sonoma CEO to retire
San Francisco Williams-Sonoma said its longtime chief, Howard Lester, will retire from the posts of CEO and chairman after 31 years.
After his retirement in May, Lester will continue to advise the company until December 2012 as chairman emeritus.
Lester has run the San Francisco company since 1978, when he bought it from founder Chuck Williams and it had four retail stores.
It now has more than 600 stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. It also owns the upscale Pottery Barn and West Elm housewares chains.
The company’s board plans to appoint Laura Alber its new CEO. Alber, the company’s president, joined the organization in 1995.
Alber has been credited with starting the company’s Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen lines and for its expansion into the Middle East.
Borders chief resigns
ANN ARBOR, Mich. Borders announced that Ron Marshall has resigned as president, CEO and a director of the company, effective immediately, to accept the role of CEO at another retailer.
The company has named EVP and chief merchandising officer Michael Edwards as the interim CEO. Edwards is a 26-year retail veteran with CEO experience who joined Borders in September 2009 and has been leading the merchandising and marketing teams.
“We have a clear commitment to drive the top line at Borders Group and there will be no interruption of our strategic plans and efforts to focus with great energy and determination on this goal during the transition,” said Edwards.
Jo-Ann joins ArtFire to help artisans sell their wares
HUDSON, Ohio Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores announced that it has partnered with ArtFire, an online artisan community, to provide sewers and crafters with the tools they need to create and sell their goods.
“By partnering with ArtFire, Jo-Ann is able to provide sewers and crafters all the tools they need to make and sell their products,” said Riddi Kline, SVP marketing, at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. “In stores and online at Joann.com, customers can shop for all their materials and find inspiration for projects. Cards and gift wrap in our stores complete the process for those creating handcrafted gifts, and now, those customers who sell their creations can do so through the Jo-Ann community at ArtFire.com.”