Pleasanton, CA—Ross Stores, Inc. announced today the promotion of Barbara Rentler to chief executive officer, effective June 1, as part of its long-term management succession plan. Rentler has been serving as president and chief merchandising officer of Ross Dress for Less since December 2009.
Rentler will succeed Michael Balmuth, who has served the company for more than 20 years with 18 of those years as chief executive and director since September 1996. Balmuth also served as president from February 2005 to December 2009.
Rentler, age 56, has held various merchandising positions since joining the company in February 1986. She was executive vice president of merchandising from December 2006 to December 2009, and executive vice president and chief merchandising officer of dd’s Discounts from February 2005 to December 2006.
“Barbara is a gifted merchant and demonstrated leader who has been part of our company’s growth for 28 years. She has played an important role in developing an exceptional team of off-price merchants whose abilities to procure great bargains have been a key driver of our success. Her strong merchandising expertise and management skills give me great confidence that she will be an excellent CEO,” Balmuth said.
As part of the succession plan announced in August 2012, Vice Chairman and CEO Michael Balmuth, age 63, will become executive chairman after serving in the position until June 1.
Meanwhile, Jim Fassio, president and chief development officer, as well as Doug Baker, president and chief merchandising officer of dd’s Discounts will continue to report directly to Balmuth.
The plan also calls for the company’s Chairman Norman Ferber to become Chairman Emeritus in June and also remain director, with his consulting responsibilities remaining unchanged. Ferber has been the chairman of the board since 1993.
The plan will enable the company to continue to benefit from Balmuth’s more than two decades of significant management experience at Ross, while also assisting in a seamless transition.
The company stated that Michael O’Sullivan, 50, will continue as president and chief operating officer. Both Rentler and O’Sullivan will now join the board of directors.
“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,” Balmuth added.r
In other action, the company announced the promotion of Group Executive Vice President Lisa Panattoni to president of merchandising at Ross Dress for Less. The company also promoted Executive Vice President Bernard Brautigan to be the group executive vice president of merchandising at Ross Dress for Less. Booth the promotions are effective June 1.