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Former Sports Authority Exec Campisi Named Big Lots CEO

Big Lots, Inc. has announced that it named David Campisi CEO and president effective May 6. He succeeds Steve Fishman, who announced in December 2012 his intention to retire upon the appointment of a successor.

Before his Big Lots appointment, the retailer related, Campisi was chairman and CEO of Respect Your Universe, a publicly-traded company focused on premium performance apparel and equipment. Prior to RYU, he was an executive with The Sports Authority for almost seven years, rising to become chairman and CEO. Before his time at The Sports Authority, Campisi served as an executive level merchandising officer at Kohl’s, Fred Meyer Inc., and Meier and Frank Co., Big Lots stated.

“David Campisi is a seasoned retail executive with a track record of success in the industry,” said Jeffrey Berger, chairman of the Big Lots board of directors nominating and corporate governance committee, and leader of its search committee. “The board was attracted to David’s broad base of successful merchandising experience and his collaborative leadership skills. Both of these characteristics were key to the board’s search, and they are believed to be paramount as Big Lots enters its next phase of growth and evolution as a company.”

In addition to relinquishing his executive post, Fishman also plans to step down from the board of directors immediately following the Big Lots 2013 annual meeting on May 30, at which time Campisi will be appointed as a director. Concurrent with Campisi’s appointment, Big Lots said it intends to elect a non-executive chairman of the board.

As regards Fishman’s retirement, Berger said, “On behalf of the entire board of directors, I would like to thank Steve for his vision and passion for Big Lots over the past nearly eight years. Under Steve’s leadership, the business has provided significant cash and returns to shareholders while elevating our brand and positioning in the marketplace. The board is confident Steve leaves the business with a well-established management team and a strategy to be successful. We know he will be watching closely our progress, and we wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Big Lots operates 1,504 namesake stores in the 48 contiguous United States as well as one eponymous unit and 79 Liquidation World and LW locations in Canada. The company also runs wholesale and Internet operations.