Vera Bradley taps home furnishings exec as CEO

Marianne Wilson
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jacqueline ardrey
Vera Bradley has named Jacqueline Ardrey as president and CEO, effective November 1.

Vera Bradley has ended its search for a new chief executive. 

The specialty retailer said that Jacqueline Ardrey will join the company as president and CEO, effective November 1. She will succeed Robert Wallstrom, who is retiring after nine years in the role.

Ardrey joins the company from home furnishings and seasonal décor catalog retailer Grandin Road, where she has served as president since 2018. (Grandin is part of the Qurate Retail Group.)

Previously, she was CEO of Trading Company Holdings, and senior VP of merchandising and supply chain for gourmet food and gifting brand Harry and David. Prior to that, she spent 14 years at high-end children’s retailer Hanna Andersson in various roles of increasing responsibility.

“Jackie Ardrey is a highly accomplished retail executive who is a strategic leader, a talent builder, and an innovative thinker with a strong record of operational excellence,” said Robert Hall, chairman, Vera Bradley. “We are confident Jackie will be instrumental in developing the full potential of our two lifestyle brands, Vera Bradley and Pura Vida, and delivering consistent, sustainable growth and value to our stakeholders over the long term.”

Wallstrom has submitted his resignation from the Vera Bradley board effective November 1, 2022, in conjunction with Ardrey joining the company and her election to the board effective that same date.

“It has been my great honor to serve as president and CEO of the company over the last nine years, and it has been an incredible privilege to work with our highly talented, creative, and dedicated team of associates,” noted Wallstrom. “We have driven innovation across both of our brands, built strong engagement with our associates and customers, and enhanced our purpose-driven mission. I am excited about the future of Vera Bradley, Inc. and confident the company will thrive under Jackie’s leadership.”