Kohl’s names interim CEO Tom Kingsbury to the post permanently


The Kohl’s logo is displayed on the exterior of a Kohl’s store on January 24, 2022 in San Rafael, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Kohl’s on Thursday named interim CEO Tom Kingsbury to the post on a permanent basis.

He took over as interim CEO in December after former chief executive Michelle Gass decided to leave for Levi Strauss. Kingsbury’s appointment had been expected.

The company also said activist investor Macellum Advisors agreed to back off its pressure campaign.

“The Board appreciates our constructive dialogue with Macellum during the last few months and their engagement as we conducted the CEO search process. We look forward to their continued support and partnership,” Michael Bender, a member of Kohl’s board, said in a release Thursday.

In October, Macellum had been pushing for board seats and also urged the company to oust the board’s chairman, Peter Boneparth.

Kingsbury, a retail industry veteran, was the nominee of Macellum and other activist investors who had been angling for a leadership restructure. Kingsbury had previously served as CEO of Burlington Stores from 2008 to 2019.

Boneparth on Thursday praised Kingsbury. “Tom’s exceptional track record growing retail businesses and his deep knowledge of Kohl’s makes him the right choice for Kohl’s next CEO,” he said in a release.

Demands for a leadership shakeup came after the company backed out of a deal to sell to Franchise Group as it struggled to navigate economic headwinds and maintained low guidance.

Kohl’s has been struggling to boost sales as budget-conscious consumers rein in spending amid inflation. The company has made a variety of attempts to revamp its brand, including with store redesigns, new partnerships and an expansion of its e-commerce offerings.

Shares of Kohl’s were up about 1% in after-hours trading on Thursday.

Read the full release from Kohl’s.