End of an era at The Container Store

The man who co-founded The Container Store some 40 years ago is retiring from the company.

Kip Tindell will retire as chairman of the storage and organization products retailer at the company’s annual meeting at the end of August.  He will be succeeded by Container Store veteran and CEO Melissa Reif, who took the reins in July 2016 when Tindell stepped down from the role.

Tidell’s wife, Sharon Tindell, who serves as president and chief merchandising officer of The Container Store, will also step down in August. She is credited with being the visionary behind the retailer’s  product mix – and keeping its focus on staying devoted solely to storage and organization product.    John Gehre, executive VP of merchandising and planning, will succeed her as chief merchandising officer in September. Gehre joined the company in July, coming from Texas supermarket giant H-E-B.

Upon stepping down, Kip Tindell and Sharon Tindell will become chairman emeritus and president emeritus respectively.

“The Container Store, celebrated our 40th anniversary last July, and Kip and Sharon have been here every step of the way,” Reiff said in a statement. “As my dear friends and colleagues, I’m thrilled for them to be able to spend more time together and move to the next chapter of their lives. Thank you, Kip and Sharon, for building an incredible and sustainable company, and for your love and generosity.”

Kip Tindell  founded The Container Store along with Garrett Boone and John Mullen in 1978. He served as its head until he stepped down in 2016.

Tindell is credited with fostering the company’s signature employee-first culture, which has put it on numerous Best Places to Work lists for consecutive years.  He explained his philosophy in his best-selling 2014 book, "Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built A Business Where Everyone Thrives."

In 2015, Tindell was was inducted into the World Retail Hall of Fame, which honors founders of some of the retail world’s most iconic brands.

“I’ve spent a lifelong career in retail and can’t imagine doing anything else,” he said at the time. “It’s the most exciting and innovative industry out there.”