Michael Weiss, who worked for Express when it was still a new concept in 1980, then as an 8-store variation of Limited Brands, announced that he is retiring in 2015. Weiss will remain at Express as a non- corporate Chairman of the Board and is going to replaced by company President, David Kornberg, in the role of Chief Executive Officer.
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Mr. Weiss statement about his departure was quoted in a company press release:
“It’s been a joy and a privilege to lead this incredible business since its inception 34 years ago. The end of the current fiscal year, in January 2015, is an appropriate time for me to scale back my daily involvement in the business. I will be leaving Express in the hands of a deep and talented management team, and I am confident that under David (Kornberg)’s direction, the Company will successfully evolve into an omni-channel brand. And of course, since I will remain in my role as Chairman of the Board, I’ll continue supporting the execution of the Company’s strategic plan.”
Michael Weiss started out as merchandise manager at Express, later became its President and finally CEO until he retired in 2004. When Limited Brands sold Express to Golden Gate Capital in 2007, the firm brought Weiss back as CEO. Since his return, the company has developed its e-commerce division, expanded internationally, and has added specialty products and new channels of distribution. It seems that management is changing hands right after a period of tremendous growth for the company. Sycamore, a private equity firm, owns a 9.9% stake in Express, and according to Marketwatch, is said to be considering a possible buyout. However, Sycamore executives would not comment on the CEO change at Express.
David Korngold, who will replace Michael Weiss as Chief Executive Officer at Express in January, 2015, joined the Express management team in 1999 and became President of the company in 2012. Prior to his work at Express, Korngold was employed at Marks & Spencer in the United Kingdom for 10 years. Korngold commented:
“Michael is a legend in this industry and is recognized for his legacy of innovation. His vision, passion and energy have positioned us to thrive in a quickly evolving industry. I am honored and humbled to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading Express forward. I have had the privilege of working here for much of my career and getting to know people throughout this organization. This permits me to state with total conviction that I am supported by a very talented group of individuals dedicated to enhancing the Express brand and shareholder value.”