Pier 1 names new chief information officer

Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE:PIR) has appointed Lance Wills as executive vice president, chief information officer, effective immediately. Wills joins Pier 1 with almost 23 years of information technology experience, including more than 10 years at companies in the retail sector where he was responsible for managing omni-channel platforms, supporting business transformations, building digital expertise and enhancing the customer journey.

“We are delighted to welcome Lance to the Pier 1 leadership team,” said Cheryl Bachelder, Interim CEO. “As we continue to narrow our strategic focus and employ a more customer-centric mindset across the company, we are committed to building upon our existing technology platform and increasingly capitalizing on data insights to help drive our business and customer initiatives forward. Lance brings the leadership, expertise and track record of execution we need to support multi-channel customer experiences as we strive to restore sales growth and improve profitability.”

The IT component may be a key to new management’s hopes for a turnaround at the troubled retailer. Pier 1 has had a difficult time finding an online strategy that is a good fit for the home furnishing retailer.

Most recently, Wills served as executive vice president, Global Technology Officer for Toys”R”Us, Inc. from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, he spent three years with American Eagle (NYSE:AEO) as vice president, Global Head of Digital Technology from 2013 to 2016, and six years with Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) as Vice President, Digital Technology. Earlier in his career, Wills served in various roles for Thomson Reuters, including executive director of Software Engineering and Technology Strategy Consultant. He holds a B.S. in Information Systems from the Central Institute of Technology in New Zealand.

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“I am excited about joining Pier 1, and look forward to leveraging my experience to drive innovation and change, while creating value for our customers as well as a better experience for our associates,” he said.

For a recent story on Pier 1’s turnaround hopes: