Pier 1 announces leadership changes, additions

Home furnishing retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE:PIR) on July 19 announced it has named two new top executives who will assume their new roles on Monday, July 22.

Pier 1 announced the appointment of Douglas Diemoz to the newly created role of president and Robert Riesbeck as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Riesbeck succeeds Deborah Rieger-Paganis, who has served as interim chief financial officer since April 2019. Diemoz was previously CEO at Crate & Barrel. and Riesbeck have recently been at Crate & Barrel.

Pier 1 is also creating a new Office of the Chief Executive Officer, led by Cheryl Bachelder, interim CEO, and including Diemoz, Riesbeck and Robert Bostrom, executive vice president, chief legal and compliance officer and corporate secretary. The Office of the CEO will be responsible for guiding, supervising and directing Pier 1’s strategy, including the previously announced process to evaluate strategic alternatives. The company’s other executive officers will now report to Diemoz and oversee Pier 1’s operations and continued execution of the previously announced fiscal 2020 plan.

Diemoz, 51, will be responsible for day-to-day operation and performance of Pier 1’s business, including merchandise buying, planning and allocations, marketing, field and e-Commerce operations, global supply chain, information technology and human resources. He joins Pier 1 with more than two decades of retail industry experience with over half of that focused on home décor and furnishings. He most recently served as CEO of Crate & Barrel and previously held the role of chief development officer at Restoration Hardware as well as leadership positions at Williams-Sonoma, The Gap, Inc. and MEXX.

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Riesbeck, 55, will be responsible for financial operations and accounting, including financial reporting, planning and analysis, treasury, tax, procurement and investor relations. He is a finance executive with more than 25 years of experience in retail and consumer goods. He brings to Pier 1 expertise in both growth and turnaround situations and has served in chief financial officer, chief operating officer and chief executive officer roles, most recently as chief financial officer of FULLBEAUTY Brands. Mr. Riesbeck also served for four years as an operating executive at private equity firm, Sun Capital Partners.

“Doug’s and Bob’s appointments are the result of two successful searches to strengthen our leadership team at a pivotal time for our company,” said Cheryl Bachelder, Interim Chief Executive Officer. “Doug and Bob each bring expertise and skill sets that I am confident will be invaluable as we continue to get the business back on track. Doug has significant experience in home furnishings, has led corporate turnarounds as well as the development of new businesses, and has a proven ability to foster winning cultures. Bob brings strong financial acumen combined with operational experience, as well as insights from his work across a range of retailers and brands and private equity.”

Ms. Bachelder continued, “With the addition of Doug and Bob to our management team, we have assembled a strong group of leaders – each contributing the essential capabilities in their individual areas of responsibility – to help drive Pier 1’s transformation. Further, the creation of our Office of the Chief Executive Officer will provide strong and cohesive oversight as we focus on providing our customer with the unique finds she expects from us and continue our work in restoring the health and promise of the business.”

“Pier 1 is an enduring brand with loyal customers and numerous opportunities to be captured in an ever evolving retail sector,” said Diemoz. “Throughout my career, I have focused on transforming and growing businesses while preserving the authenticity and unique brand experience customers love. I am excited to work with Cheryl, the senior leadership team and all of our dedicated store, distribution center and home office associates as we position Pier 1 for the future.”

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“I am pleased to be joining the Pier 1 team at such an important time in the Company’s history and believe this opportunity is perfectly suited to my background,” said Riesbeck. “I look forward to leveraging my finance and operating expertise and partnering with Cheryl and the other members of the leadership team in executing the initiatives in our fiscal 2020 plan to drive improved financial results.”

Bachelder concluded, “I also would like to thank Deborah Rieger-Paganis, who has served as Interim Chief Financial Officer since April. We greatly appreciate her important contributions and will look forward to Deb’s further support as she continues in a consulting role advising on key turnaround initiatives.”