The board of directors of Ollie’s Bargain Outlet has announced that founder, chairman of the board, president and CEO, Mark Butler, 61, passed away unexpectedly December 1 while spending the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with his family.
“Mark was an exceptional entrepreneur, merchant, leader, philanthropist, friend and family man,” said board member Richard Zannino on behalf of the entire board of directors. “From ringing the first sale in the first Ollie’s store in Mechanicsburg, PA in 1982, to leading the company’s highly profitable growth to 345 stores in 25 states, Mark built a successful and enduring retail concept, assembled an incredible team, created thousands of jobs and delivered millions of bargains to our customers, while delivering exceptional shareholder value along the way. We will dearly miss Mark and extend our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to Mark’s entire family.”
Effective immediately, the board of directors has named John Swygert as interim president and CEO. He has been serving as evp/chief operating officer since 2018 and prior to this served as Ollie’s CFO since 2004.
Zannino added, “During his 15 year tenure, John worked closely with Mark and played an integral role in the growth and success of Ollie’s. Together, they built a talented, passionate and high-performing management team. Based on John’s intimate knowledge of the company and the closeout business, and the strength and tenure of the Ollie’s team, the board has the utmost confidence in John’s ability to successfully lead the company at this time. We will continue to support them in every way possible.”