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Executive Appointments Highlight Ross Succession Initiative

Wednesday May 7th, 2014 - 10:56AM


Ross Stores, Inc. has announced multiple executive appointments as it institutes a succession plan under which Barbara Rentler, president and chief merchandising officer, will become CEO and Michael O'Sullivan will continue as president and COO. Rentler and O'Sullivan both will join the retailer's board of directors.

As previously announced, Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and CEO since 1996, will become executive chairman of the board. The changes will come into effect on June 1, the company pointed out.

Ross added to the list of promotions effective June 1, 2014, with:

Lisa Panattoni becoming president, merchandising, Ross Dress for Less after serving as group executive vp.  In her new role, Panattoni will supervise all of the Home businesses, Men's, Junior Sportswear, Lingerie and Cosmetics, reporting to Rentler.

Bernard Brautigan becoming group executive vp, merchandising, Ross Dress for Less after serving as executive vp.  In his new role, Brautigan will supervise most of the Ladies apparel businesses, Children's, Shoes, Accessories and Jewelry, reporting to Rentler.

As the company announced in August 2012, Michael Balmuth, as executive chairman, will remain a key member of the senior management team with Jim Fassio, president and chief development officer, and Doug Baker, president and chief merchandising officer, dd's Discounts, reporting directly to him.

Norman Ferber, the retailer's board chairman since 1993, will remain a director and be named chairman emeritus, Ross declared. George Orban will continue as lead independent director. The board plans to recruit an additional independent director, the company added

In discussing the changes, Balmuth said, "We are delighted to announce the team which will lead Ross Stores into the future, as we seek to build on our strong record of growth. Barbara and Michael are talented executives with complementary skills, and each has made extraordinary contributions to our company over the course of their long careers here."