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CEO abruptly exits major area retailer

Shelley Broader had been president, CEO and on the board of Chico’s FAS since 2015.

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  • | 5:51 p.m. April 24, 2019
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Bonnie Brooks has been on the Chico's FAS board since 2016.
Bonnie Brooks has been on the Chico's FAS board since 2016.
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FORT MYERS — Women’s retailer Chico’s FAS, one of the largest companies in Southwest Florida, has named an interim CEO in the wake of former CEO and president Shelley Broader’s immediate resignation.

Bonnie Brooks, a Chico’s board member since 2016 and former CEO and president of retail conglomerate Hudson’s Bay, was named interim CEO, effective April 24, according to a statement.

Company officials, in the statement, didn’t provide any reasons for Broader’s departure. The well-known CEO, named to the post in 2015, also resigned from her position on the board. “I would like to thank Shelley for her many contributions to Chico's FAS over the past three and a half years, Chico’s chairman David Walker says in the release. “We appreciate the significant operating improvements she initiated and implemented and wish her well in her future endeavors."

Shelley Broader was with Chico’s FAS since 2015.
Shelley Broader was with Chico’s FAS since 2015.

Brooks, meanwhile, takes on the interim role during a time of major transformation at Chico’s, which, like many retailers, is figuring out the right balance between e-commerce and brick and mortar locations. The company, for example, announced in early January it planned to shutter at least 250 stores over three years.

“Bonnie is a successful retail executive and merchant who has led the turnaround of other fashion retailers, and we are pleased to have her step into the CEO role on an interim basis, “Walker says in the statement. "Her experience in the industry as well as her time on the Chico's FAS Board give her a deep understanding of our brands and customers. We are confident that Bonnie will be able to quickly step into the business to benefit the sales, products and merchandising across all of the company's brands as the board continues its search for a permanent CEO with a strong apparel track record."

Brooks has been in retail for more than 30 years, according to the statement, including a decade in Hong Kong as president of the Lane Crawford Joyce Group, a women's fashion retailer.

"One of our company's key competitive advantages is the loyalty and strength of the core customer. We look forward to tapping into this further, and more aggressively, to enhance the growth and positioning of our Chico's, White House Black Market, Soma and our newest brand, TellTale,” Brooks says in the release. “We have dedicated associates across the organization, and I look forward to working with them as Interim CEO."

Chico's, meanwhile, hired Herbert Mines Associates to search for a permanent CEO and President. The Search Committee is chaired by Bill Simon, a member of the Chico's board since 2016 and the former resident and CEO of Walmart U.S. Chico's had $2.13 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year.







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