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.


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