Published: Tue, February 06, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Hudson's Bay chooses American as new CEO

Hudson's Bay chooses American as new CEO

The well-regarded executive, on whose watch CVS' retail business bloomed into an $80 billion a year business, will take the reins of department store conglomerate Hudson's Bay Company (hbc), whose chains include Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, on February 19.

Richard Baker, who has been acting interim CEO, will continue as governor and executive chairman.

"I think there is a lot of opportunity for starters to maximize the businesses that we own", Baker said. "She has a proven track record of making bold, strategic choices that, at their core, put the customer first and have proven enormously impactful to business success". I look forward to working with this great team and listening deeply to them and to our partners to build upon strategies that capitalize on HBC's physical and digital assets and deepen our core operating effectiveness. Ms. Foulkes may very well have been an accomplished CVS executive but she has no particularly relevant experience to bring to HBC.

Foulkes has appeared on Fortune magazine's Most Powerful Women in Business list and was often discussed as a potential successor to CVS CEO Larry Merlo. She was also a principal architect of the company's move to become a recognized leader in healthcare. Foulkes ran CVS Health's network of almost 10,000 stores and is credited with building the company's online prescription refill business. Foulkes, who has been at CVS since 1992, will replace Jerry Storch, who left HBC suddently in October. Foulkes serves on the boards of The Home Depot and the Harvard University Board of Overseers. Her husband, Bill Foulkes, is chair of the R.I. Council on Postsecondary Education and on the faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design. "Department stores have also felt the brunt of changing consumer tastes as more shoppers flock to fast-fashion retailers and off-price chains, while spending an increasing amount of their disposable income on non-fashion items such as restaurants and travel".

Hudson's Bay has more than 66,000 employees and almost 500 stores, and it's significantly smaller than CVS, with total retail sales of $14.5 billion in 2016; CVS's revenue totaled $178 billion that year.

HBC has significant investments in real estate joint ventures.

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