Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (NYSE:PIR) on Nov. 5 announced the appointment of Robert Riesbeck as CEO and as a director of the company, effective as of the close of business Nov. 5. Riesbeck will also continue to serve as chief financial officer. As planned, Cheryl Bachelder, who has served as interim CEO since December 2018, has stepped down from that role, also effective as of the close of business today, and will continue in her position as a member of Pier 1’s Board of Directors.
Riesbeck has more than 25 years of leadership experience in retail and consumer goods with expertise in both growth and turnaround situations and has served in CEO, chief operating officer and chief financial officer roles. He has served as Pier 1’s chief financial officer since July 2019, and previously was chief financial officer of FULLBEAUTY Brands as well as an operating executive at private equity firm Sun Capital Partners.
“Bob has stepped into a leadership role at Pier 1 with a sense of urgency and deep capability and we are thrilled to appoint him as CEO,” said Terry London, Chairman of the Board. “We thank Cheryl for serving Pier 1 as Interim CEO over the last 10 months. She has made important progress in developing a clear plan and roadmap for success, including assembling a strong team to guide the Company into the future. We are pleased that she will continue to play an active role as a member of the Board.”
“Bob has quickly established himself as the right leader to successfully take the company forward,” said Bachelder. “While we recognize there is still much work to do, Bob has been instrumental in helping the leadership team advance our plan to reset and reimagine the future of this iconic brand and he has put in place a highly capable finance team to steward the Company’s resources.”
“I welcome the opportunity to take on this expanded role and lead one of the best brands in the home sector forward, continuing the progress that Cheryl set in motion with our fiscal 2020 action plan,” said Riesbeck. “I am excited to be working alongside a highly capable management team and passionate associates to delight our customers and drive the execution of Pier 1’s turnaround plan through fiscal 2020 and beyond.”
Pier 1 also today announced the appointment of Donna Colaco as president of Pier 1. Colaco has served as executive vice president and chief customer officer since December 2018. Colaco will continue to be responsible for merchandising, planning and allocation, marketing, e-Commerce and promotion.
“We are pleased to promote Donna to serve as President, in recognition of the tremendous impact she has had on Pier 1 style stories and helping to re-engage the Pier 1 customer with our merchandise,” said Bachelder. “I look forward to her leadership in driving a sales turnaround with compelling merchandise and marketing that bring our loyal customers to our stores and online.”
Douglas Diemoz, who had served as president, has left the company.
In connection with the leadership appointments today, the Company has also dissolved the Office of the Chief Executive Officer put in place in July 2019.
About Robert Riesbeck
Riesbeck has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Pier 1 since July 2019. Most recently, he served as Chief Financial Officer of FULLBEAUTY Brands from June 2018 to February 2019. Previously, he served as the Chief Financial Officer, from September 2014 to February 2016, and then the Chief Executive Officer and President, from February 2016 to June 2017, of hhgregg, Inc. Prior to that, from 2010 to 2014, Riesbeck served as an operating executive at Sun Capital Partners, where he was responsible for a diverse group of portfolio companies, after serving for four years as Chief Financial Officer at Marsh Supermarkets, which was acquired by Sun Capital Partners in 2006. He is a Certified Public Accountant and began his career with Grant Thornton LLP. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from The University of Akron.
About Donna Colaco
Colaco has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer of Pier 1 since December 2018. Prior to joining the Company, Colaco most recently served as Brand President of White House Black Market, a Chico’s FAS, Inc. brand, from August 2007 to January 2018. Colaco also served as a member of the Chico’s FAS Executive Committee. Prior to that, Colaco spent 11 years with AnnTaylor Stores Corporation, where she held positions of increasing responsibility within the merchandising organization, successfully launched the LOFT outlet division, and served as head of e-Commerce for the Ann Taylor brand. From 2006 to 2007, Colaco was President of Ann Taylor Loft, a $1 billion apparel and accessories business.