Citi Trends, Inc. announced chief executive officer Bruce Smith has decided to resign from his position as CEO. However, in order to provide for an orderly transition, Smith has agreed to continue to serve as CEO until the earlier of when his successor is in place or February 1, 2020.
“We extend our thanks to Bruce for his service, dedication and leadership over more than a decade at Citi Trends. He distinguished himself first as chief financial officer, rising to chief operating officer and ultimately to chief executive officer,” said Citi Trends Board Chairman Brian Carney. “We deeply appreciate his commitment and hard work. We wish him well in all his future endeavors.”
Smith said, “It has been my great honor to serve Citi Trends for the past 12 years. I am proud to have contributed to the growth of this business that offers affordable urban fashion apparel and accessories for the entire family. I am especially thankful to my long-time colleagues and to all our associates who serve our customers. I believe the future of Citi Trends is bright and I will be cheering for the company’s success.”
The Board has formed a search committee to identify the company’s new CEO and retained an executive search firm to assist in the process.
During this period of transition, the Board also has appointed Peter Sachse to serve as Special Advisor to the CEO. In this role, he will provide strategic advice and counsel to the CEO during the transition and will assist Smith in pursuing the strategic objectives of the Board and positioning the company to grow and deliver value for its customers, associates and shareholders.
Sachse has over three decades of experience at Macy’s Inc., including as chief growth officer, chief innovation and development officer, chief stores officer, chief marketing officer and as chief executive officer of macy’s.com. He is recognized for his exceptional record of architecting, growing and transforming consumer retail engagement for Macy’s, Inc. across a variety of functions, channels and brands. As CEO of macys.com, he led all aspects of the company’s online presence to deliver 10x growth over six years.
Sachse said, “I look forward to working with the team at Citi Trends to capture the exciting opportunities in the value retail space and to ensure that this period of transition is one of forward momentum for the company.”
“As we look to the future, we see opportunity to leverage our strong balance sheet and loyal customer base as we innovate with new merchandising, marketing and distribution strategies,” Carney said. “Citi Trends is focused on improving its merchandising strategies and execution, expanding its non-apparel offerings, executing its cost cutting initiatives, and exploring new markets, including testing new stores in predominantly Hispanic areas. We are committed to making the changes necessary to thrive and grow to the benefit of our customers, employees and shareholders.”
In March 2018, Smith was promoted to CEO. Smith has been with Citi Trends for almost 11 years. He joined the company in April 2007 as senior vice president and chief financial officer, was promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer in March 2010, and was promoted to chief financial officer, chief operating officer and secretary in March 2015. He replaced Jason Mazzola.
Citi Trends is a value-priced retailer of urban fashion apparel and accessories for the entire family. The company operates 561 stores located in 32 states.