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Apr 24, 2019
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Burlington Stores names Michael O’Sullivan as new CEO

Apr 24, 2019

Off-price department store retailer Burlington Stores, Inc. has announced the appointment of former Ross Stores COO Michael O’Sullivan as its new chief executive officer, as part of a leadership succession plan which also involves the promotion of Jennifer Vecchio to the newly created role of president, chief merchandising officer.

O'Sullivan joins Burlington Stores from one of its biggest rivals, Ross Stores - Instagram: @burlingtonstyle

Effective September 16, 2019, O’Sullivan will succeed Thomas Kingsbury, who has held the position of CEO at Burlington Stores for over ten years.

O’Sullivan will bring more than two decades of experience to his new role, having served at Ross Stores – one of Burlington Stores’ biggest competitors in the off-price segment – from September 2003 until earlier this year. As COO, he led the development and implementation of the company’s core strategy and was responsible for overseeing major functional areas, including stores, supply chain, finance, IT and marketing.

Prior to this, the executive, who holds a BA from the University of Oxford and an MBA from Columbia Business School, spent close to 12 years as a partner at management consultancy firm Bain & Company.
“Given our tremendous progress and the strong foundation we have established, the Board and I believe now is the right time to transition to new leadership,” said Kingsbury in a release. “Michael brings extensive experience and a proven record of success in the off-price retail business, and his team-oriented leadership style makes him a natural fit for our organization. We believe that Michael is uniquely qualified to lead Burlington in its next phase of growth.”
When he joins Burlington Stores, O’Sullivan will also be appointed to the company’s board of directors, while Kingsbury will help ensure a smooth handover by serving as the board’s executive chairman during a transition period.
Vecchio, who has held the position of chief merchandising officer, principal, at Burlington Stores since 2015, also first joined the company from Ross Stores, having served in a range of merchandising roles with the rival retailer for almost 14 years.
“Jennifer has outstanding merchandising and leadership skills, strong relationships with the vendor community and a deep understanding of our business model. She is an energetic and inspirational leader, and the board and I believe she will continue to drive the company’s merchandising and marketing strategies as president and chief merchandising officer,” commented Kingsbury.
Vecchio’s promotion is effective immediately.
On Tuesday, Burlington Stores also updated its financial outlook for the first quarter of fiscal 2019, narrowing its prevision for adjusted EPS to between $1.21 and $1.25, within the company’s previous guidance of $1.21 to $1.31. Comparable store sales are also now expected to rise in the range of 0% to 0.5%, compared to a previous guidance of between 0% and 2%.

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