Belk CEO Tim Belk retires from the department store chain

July 1, 2016 02:12 PM

For department store chain Belk Inc., top leadership is no longer all in the family.

Tim Belk this month will retire as CEO and former Hot Topic Inc. CEO Lisa Harper will succeed him, effective Tuesday. Tim Belk, CEO since 2004, will remain on the board of the retailer, No. 97 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide with estimated 2015 web sales of $384.6 million.

Private equity firm Sycamore Partners acquired North Carolina-based Belk in August for about $2.7 billion in cash. Sycamore has a history of investing in retailers and trying to turn them around. In 2013, it bought Hot Topic Inc. (No. 283) for about $533.5 million and was in talks to buy Billabong International Ltd. before discussions broke off. Syacamore, which oversees more than $3.5 billion in capital, also purchased Talbots Inc. (No. 137) in 2012.

Harper left mall-based retailer Hot Topic in June after joining in March 2011, and she will remain on board. From 2001-06, she was CEO of children’s clothing and accessories retailer The Gymboree Corp. (No. 365) and held creative, merchandising and design positions previously at Gymboree.

"After managing through the ownership transition and filling a number of key management positions, I've decided this is an opportune time for me to retire as CEO of Belk. It has been an honor to continue my family's legacy by serving the company over the past 35 years,” Tim Belk said.

"I also appreciate the partnership we've developed with Stefan Kaluzny and Sycamore Partners. Their vision and expertise will carry the company forward to even greater success. A North Carolina native who worked on the selling floor at Belk as one of her first jobs, Lisa Harper brings more than two decades of experience across the retail industry,” he said. “I look forward to working with Lisa during a transition period in July and in my continued role as a board member."




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