• Ashley Lutz

Macy's has announced a plan to replace its CEO of more than a decade

Longtime executive Jeff Gennette will take over as CEO in the first quarter of 2017, replacing Terry Lundgren. Lundgren, who has been CEO for more than a decade, will stay on as chairman of the board, according to a statement.

Gennette has been president of Macy's since 2014. He joined the company more than 30 years ago.

The company included details about Gennette's experience in a release:

"Jeff Gennette, 55, was named President of Macy's, Inc. in March 2014 after serving as Macy's Chief Merchandising Officer since February 2009. From February 2008 to February 2009, Gennette served as chairman and CEO of Macy's West in San Francisco. He began his retail career in 1983 as an executive trainee at Macy's West. He held positions of increasing responsibilities, including vice president and division merchandise manager for men's collection and senior vice president and general merchandise manager for men's and children's. In 2004, Gennette was appointed executive vice president and director of stores at Macy's Central in Atlanta. From February 2006 to February 2008, Gennette was chairman and chief executive officer of Seattle-based Macy's Northwest. During his career, Gennette also served as a store manager for FAO Schwarz and director of stores for Broadway Stores, Inc. Gennette, a native of San Diego, is a graduate of Stanford University."

The transition comes at a difficult time for Macy's.

The department store's sales fell 7.4% in the first quarter - marking five straight quarters of declines - as customers cut back on buying apparel.

The issues plaguing Macy's are the same ones that have brought Sears close to extinction: falling traffic, underinvestment in stores, and a reliance on excessive discounting to attract customers.

"The blunt truth is that Macy's does not give consumers a reason to visit its stores," Neil Saunders, CEO of the retail consulting firm Conlumino, wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. "In many locations shops are simply not up to par: they are poorly merchandised, hard to shop, lack any inspiration, and have fairly mediocre customer service. Some of this is about a lack of capital investment, but some is about a lack of basic shop-keeping standards."


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