Outdoor retailer L.L.Bean, announced today they have named Stephen Smith as President and CEO.
Mr. Smith will replace Chris McCormick who has served as President and CEO since 2001 and is retiring at the end of the fiscal year, February 2015. He will be the fourth President in L.L.Bean history, and the first outsider to lead the company. He comes to Bean with an extensive background in the retail industry, experience that spans customer relationship management, strategy, brand development, marketing, and merchandising across all channels.
“We are very pleased with the selection of Steve Smith as our next President,” said Shawn Gorman, L.L.Bean Chairman of the Board. “Hiring a CEO who embodies the values of Bean was a top priority for the family and the Board, and I am confident we have done just that. He has a deep understanding of and appreciation for customer needs, and multi-channel retailing, which is well aligned with our approach here at L.L.Bean.”
Smith began his career in New York but moved to Maine in the late 1990s when he joined Resort Sports Network (RSN) where he rose to Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Later, he moved to Hannaford Supermarkets as Director of Marketing. Since then, he has held several executive level roles at both U.S. and internationally-based retailers, including Sweetbay Supermarkets and Delhaize Le Lion (sister companies of Hannaford) in Florida and Belgium, and Walmart International subsidiaries, including Sam’s Club in China, ASDA in the United Kingdom, and Yihaodian, a pure e-commerce business located in Shanghai.
Smith said, “I welcome the opportunity to lead one of the world’s best brands, known for quality products and outstanding customer service. L.L.Bean is a company I have long admired, both as a customer and as a retailer. I also am looking forward to returning to Maine where my family has deep ties and where we can embrace our love of the outdoors.”
Smith will join the company in early January, allowing for a period of transition before Chris McCormick retires at the end of the fiscal year, February 2016.
About L.L.Bean, Inc.
L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading multichannel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. Still family owned, Shawn Gorman, great grandson of Leon Leonwood Bean, was named Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2013. While its business has grown over the years, L.L.Bean continues to uphold the values of its founder, including his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors. L.L.Bean products are rigorously tested, guaranteed to last and always shipped free. In the past five years, L.L.Bean has donated over $6 million toward conservation and land stewardship. The 220,000 sq. ft. L.L.Bean retail store campus in Freeport, ME, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year. L.L.Bean can be found worldwide at http://www.llbean.com, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram.
A privately held company, L.L.Bean does not publicly disclose financials.