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05/03/2022

Leadership shakeup at Torrid as new CEO takes reins

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Liz Muñoz, above, has been replaced as CEO of Torrid by retail veteran Lisa Harper. Muñoz has been appointed to the new role of chief creative officer.

A retail veteran has been tapped as the new chief executive of Torrid Holdings Inc.

The women’s larger-size apparel, intimates, and accessories brand named Lisa Harper as CEO. She succeeds Liz Muñoz, who has been appointed to the new role of chief creative officer. (With the change, Muñoz has stepped down as a member of the company's board.) The changes are effective immediately.

Most recently, from 2016 through 2021, Harper served as CEO of department store retailer Belk. Prior to Belk, Harper served as CEO of Torrid (the predecessor of the current company) and its then-parent company Hot Topic, from March 2011 until June 2016.

From 2001 to 2006, Harper served as CEO of the Gymboree Corp. She also held merchandising and design positions with several other clothing retailers, including Limited Too, Esprit, GapKids, Mervyn’s and Levi Strauss.

Harper has been a member of Torrid’s board of directors and its predecessor since 2008. In addition to serving as CEO, she will remain a board member.

Muñoz joined Torrid in 2010 as senior VP of product. She was named president in January 2018 and CEO several months after. In her new role, Muñoz will focus on product, design, product development, fabrication, sourcing, technical fit, creative marketing and merchandising.

[Read More: Exclusive: Torrid CEO sees plenty of room for growth]

In addition to announcing the leadership changes, Torrid said the company expects to exceed its previously stated sales and adjusted EBITDA guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2022.

“Liz has done a terrific job leading Torrid, including playing an important role in the company’s successful initial public offering in 2021,” said Stefan Kaluzny, chairman, Torrid. “Liz is driven by her passion for product and Torrid’s customer, and we are thrilled to have her assume this critical new role at the company.”

Kaluzny added that “together Lisa and Liz will focus on driving strategic growth and value for all stakeholders.”

“Liz’s focus on product and the customer combined with Lisa’s operational expertise create an outstanding team,” he said.

In a statement, Harper said: “It has been exciting to contribute to the evolution and innovation that has made Torrid an industry leader over the last decade. I look forward to partnering with Liz and the Torrid team in my new role to continue to drive tremendous growth.”

In March,  Torrid reported that its fourth-quarter net sales increased 5.5% to $313.9 million. et Its net loss widened to $22.8 million, or $0.21 per share, compared to a net loss of $8.8 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, in the prior-year quarter. This reflects the use of a 328.1% effective tax rate due to a one-time non-cash charge associated with revaluing legacy incentive units as part of its IPO, the company said. 

OTHER CHANGES
Torrid has appointed Tanner MacDiarmid as Interim CFO, effective immediately. As previously announced, George Wehlitz retired from his role as CFO at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and is now serving as an advisor to ensure a smooth transition.

Chinwe Abaelu, senior VP, chief accounting officer, will serve as principal financial officer from now until a new CFO joins Torrid.

Also, Michael Shaffer, former CFO of PVH Corp., has joined the board as an independent member and chair of the audit committee.