By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
Jeff Gennette, left, will become the CEO of Macy’s Inc. in the first quarter of 2017, taking over for Terry Lundgren. Lundgren has led the retailer since 2003.
Jeff Gennette, left, will become the CEO of Macy’s Inc. in the first quarter of 2017, taking over for Terry Lundgren. Lundgren has led the retailer since 2003.

New York--Macy’s Inc. Chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren will step down in the first quarter of 2017 and be replaced by the retailer’s president, Jeff Gennette.

The retailer said the change in leadership is part of the board of directors’ succession plan that started with Gennette’s election as president in 2014, but it also comes at a time when Macy’s is struggling to compete.

The retailer reported a drop in total and same-store sales in its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2015 and the first quarter 2016 was its worst since the recession. It is also among the many brick-and-mortar retailers that have been forced to close stores and lay off workers.

After the first quarter, Lundgren, who has headed Macy’s for the last 13 years, will continue as executive chairman of the company. He will work side-by-side with Gennette, who will be president and CEO.

The 55-year-old Gennette is a graduate of Stanford University and started his retail career with Macy’s in 1983 as an executive trainee at what was then known as Macy’s West.

Over the years he’s moved up through the ranks, heading Macy’s Central in Atlanta, Macy’s Northwest in Seattle and Macy’s West in San Francisco. He became the retailer’s chief merchandising officer in February 2009 before being promoted to president of Macy’s Inc. in March 2014.

In a company statement, Lundgren called Gennette “an extraordinary leader who has distinguished himself as a skilled merchant and retail operator,” and noted that it is time for Macy’s to “reset our business model to thrive in a future that is being driven by rapid evolution in consumer preferences and shopping habits.”

“Our company must and will change in response to the profound secular forces that are driving consumer spending,” he said.



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