AcademySports_040616
C-SUITE

Academy Sports CEO departs; succeeded by well-known retail veteran

BY Marianne Wilson

The chief executive of Academy Sports + Outdoors is leaving to pursue “another opportunity.”

Academy said that J.K. Symancyk has resigned as CEO. The sporting goods retailer has appointed well-regarded industry veteran Ken C. Hicks as chairman and CEO. Hicks, a recent member of the Academy board, has over three decades of senior merchandising, marketing and operational experience in the retail industry. From 2009 until 2014, he served as president and CEO of Foot Locker, during which time he is credited with dramatically growing the company’s sales and earnings.

Prior to Foot Locker, Hicks served in leadership positions at several major retail companies, including J.C. Penney, Payless ShoeSource, Home Shopping Network and May Department Stores.

“I grew up in Houston with Academy, and I know this company is special because of our mission, values, and people,” said Hicks. “Our philosophy of making sports and outdoors accessible for all for less is differentiated in today’s retail market, and our focus on our customers will continue to drive our success. The Board and I are extremely grateful for J.K.’s leadership, the senior team he’s built, and how he’s helped position the company for future growth.”

Symancyk was named CEO of Academy in late 2015. He joined the sporting goods retailer after several years serving as president at Meijer Inc.

Academy operates some 250 stores.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

What will your company do with the tax-reform windfall?
C-SUITE

Mattress Firm taps retail vet to head up merchandising

BY Marianne Wilson

The nation’s largest specialty mattress retailer has tapped a retailer experienced in the business of sleep as chief merchandising officer.

Mattress Firm named Lorie Silva as CMO. She previously held the role of director of bedding operations for Jordan’s Furniture, where she was responsible for the entire operation of bedding, including sourcing, sales, training and retail experience with strong ties to customer service, operations and logistics. Silvia joined Jordan’s in 1991, and took on increasing responsibility.

“Lorie is a proven groundbreaker who led successful merchandising and retail efforts at Jordan’s Furniture,” said Steve Stagner, executive chairman, president and CEO, Mattress Firm, which operates more than 3,000 stores nationwide. “She has a keen understanding of what it takes for a product to sell – from identifying consumer needs to educating associates to communicating product benefits.”

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

What will your company do with the tax-reform windfall?
C-SUITE

Avenue Stores names new CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Avenue Stores has tapped a veteran retailer as its next chief executive.

The women’s plus-size apparel and accessories retailer appointed Mark Walsh as CEO, effective. He succeeds Liz Williams, who has served in the position since April 2012, and is credited with helping to re-energize the brand.

“Under Liz Williams, Avenue has been one of our most successful investments,” said Gregory L. Segall of Versa Capital Management, the private-equity owner of Avenue. “She transformed the company from a stagnant retailer with many underutilized assets into a profitable omnichannel enterprise, achieving substantial success in the face of challenging and changing retail market conditions.”

New CEO Walsh is a board member who began advising the company last year. His previous experience include roles as CEO of Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports, group president of Liz Claiborne, and executive VP of e-commerce and strategic planning at J. Crew Group. He has also held executive positions in marketing and finance for Citibank, N.A. and Pepsico.

“We are delighted to welcome Mark Walsh, a veteran operator of brand name retail franchises, to Avenue,” said Segall. “Having worked closely with Mark over the years, we have first-hand knowledge of his ability to collaboratively lead organizations and grow businesses, and the board is confident he is an excellent choice to lead Avenue as it pursues its next stage of growth and enhanced profitability.”

During the past six months, Avenue has transformed its management team, including the appointments of Nancy Viall as chief merchandising officer and Steven Silbaugh as chief marketing officer in November 2017. Most recently, the retailer named Scott Hampson as COO and David Rhoads as CFO.

“With the renewed leadership team in place, it’s the right time for me to step back, while being confident the company is in Mark’s capable hands,” said Williams.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

What will your company do with the tax-reform windfall?