FORT MYERS — A new chair is set to sit on the women-founded Chico’s FAS Inc. board of directors.
Kevin Mansell was elected to take the seat following Bonnie Brooks’ appointment as executive chair, which began in 2020. Brooks will continue to serve as a member of both the merchant and executive committees, as well as a director.
"I would like to thank Bonnie for her leadership, dedication and many contributions to our company and board," says Molly Langenstein, CEO and president. "Bonnie's extensive industry and company knowledge, and her guidance have been instrumental during an especially critical time for Chico's FAS. I look forward to her continued involvement with our board, along with Kevin's in his new leadership role, as our team builds on the strong momentum in the company's turnaround strategy."
As a director on the board since 2016, Brooks has taken on additional responsibilities including serving as interim CEO and president starting in April 2019 before losing the interim tag and continuing in that role through 2020.
"It was a great honor to lead the Chico's FAS Board, particularly during a period when we needed to navigate the impact of the pandemic on the retail industry, to appoint a new CEO to lead Chico's FAS into the future and to take significant steps to position our three brands for long-term success,” Brooks says.
She adds that the company recently posted its best fourth quarter earnings performance in four years, crediting the management team led by Molly Langenstein, the current CEO and president.
“I look forward to continuing to serve on the board alongside Kevin and my other fellow directors as the company strives to continue to deliver for customers and drive sustainable growth and profitability," she says.
Since last year’s annual meeting of shareholders, Mansell has served as lead independent director.
"In my time on the board, I have come to know and admire my fellow directors and the company's leadership team,” he says. “Chico's FAS has made tremendous strides in returning to growth and has a clear path forward to further enhance value creation for our shareholders.”
With more than 40 years of retail experience, Mansell adds that he is confident Chico’s FAS has the right strategy in place to become a digital-first, customer-led retailer. Before joining the board, he spent more than 35 years at Kohl’s Corp. during which he served as chair, CEO and president before retiring in 2018.
Chico's FAS was founded in 1983 on Sanibel Island. Now the company represents three brands: Chico's, White House Black Market and Soma. As of earlier this year, the company was operating 1,266 stores in the states.