As expected, Michael D. Fisher began his tenure as chief executive officer of Stein Mart, Inc., replacing the retiring John H. (Jack) Williams, Jr. who served the Company for 23 years. The planned succession was previously announced on June 3, 2002.

Fisher, 55, joined the Company in 1993 as executive vice president of stores after nearly twenty years in department store management. He was named president and chief operating officer of the Company in 2001.

Williams, 65, joined Stein Mart in 1980, when the Company consisted of three stores. He became president of the Company in 1990 and chief executive officer in 2001.

“After working closely with Mike for several years, I know he is a person of great integrity, and a good leader with superb analytical skills and retailing insights,” said Williams. “I am confident that the Company is in extremely good hands.”

Commenting on the transition, Jay Stein, chairman of the board of Stein Mart, praised both Williams and Fisher.

“Jack has helped guide this Company through an extraordinary period of growth and success, and I will always be deeply grateful for his commitment to this Company and its people,” said Stein. “But I am equally certain that Mike has the ability to lead Stein Mart into our next chapter of growth and prosperity.”

Stein remains chairman of the board of directors and Williams will continue on the board as its vice-chairman. Both Fisher and Gwen Manto, executive vice president, merchandising, will be director nominees during this year’s proxy voting period.