When you think of Macy's, you think Terry Lundgren. As chairman, chief executive officer and president, Mr. Lundgren has built Macy's into a national powerhouse and kept department stores meaningful to many in the face of criticism that the format has become irrelevant. So what is the outside world to make of yesterday's announcement that Mr. Lundgren has turned over the title and duties of company president to Jeffrey Gennette, Macy's chief merchandising officer.
According to a release put out by the company, Mr. Gennette will continue to handle his current duties while overseeing Macy's marketing, macys.com and overseeing Macy's Private Brands group.
"Jeff Gennette is an outstanding merchant who has proven to be an insightful strategist and strong leader in our company," said Mr. Lundgren in a statement. "As our president, with the additional responsibility for Macy's private brands, Gennette will have a total view of Macy's merchandise assortment and marketing strategy — both in stores and online — consistent with our omni-channel vision."
Mr. Gennette has been the chief merchandising officer at Macy's going back to 2009. He first joined the company as an executive trainee in 1983.
Mr. Lundgren refused to say whether the promotion of Mr. Gennette was connected to a succession plan at the company. "It's a clear message that this is one of our top-performing individuals to give him such as huge responsibility," Mr. Lundgren told Reuters.
On the same topic, Mr. Lundgren said he has no plans to leave Macy's. "When I do, it will be years from now," he was quoted by The Wall Street Journal.
What grade do you give Macy's for the announcement that chief merchandising officer Jeff Gennette has been promoted to president?