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Burlington Stores’ CEO to leave; successor named

BY Marianne Wilson

A Ross Stores veteran has been tapped to take the reins of Burlington Stores.

The off-price retailer said that Thomas Kingsbury, chairman, president and CEO, will step down as chief executive on or about September 16, 2019, after more than 10 years in the role. Michael O’Sullivan, most recently president and COO of Ross Stores, will take over as CEO on or around that date. He will also be appointed to the board.

O’Sullivan has significant off-price retail experience, having served in executive positions at Ross Stores since 2003. Prior to Ross Stores, he was a partner at Bain & Company, with a particular focus on business strategy and performance improvement within the retail industry.

“Given our tremendous progress and the strong foundation we have established, the Board and I believe now is the right time to transition to new leadership,” said Kingsbury, who will continue to support the company as executive chairman during a transition period. “Michael brings extensive experience and a proven record of success in the off-price retail business, and his team-oriented leadership style makes him a natural fit for our organization. We believe that Michael is uniquely qualified to lead Burlington in its next phase of growth.”

In other appointments, Burlington said that Jennifer Vecchio, chief merchandising officer, principal, has been tapped for the newly created role of president, chief merchandising officer, effective immediately. She will continue to be responsible for merchandising and planning, and will also oversee marketing and strategy.

Burlington also said it expects adjusted earnings between $1.21 a share and $1.25 a share, compared with a previous guidance of between $1.21 a share and $1.31 a share. It expects comparable-store sales to be flat or to rise 0.5%.

The company operated 675 stores as of the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, in 45 states and Puerto Rico, principally under the name Burlington Stores.

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