Joann’s new board stocked with former merchants

Hudson, Ohio – As it searches for a permanent CEO, fabric and crafts retail Joann has named a transitional CEO and a new board of directors that includes former merchants from Macy’s, QVC and the legacy Bed Bath & Beyond chain.

Out of bankruptcy and moving forward as a private company, Joann has appointed Michael Prendergast to the role of acting CEO. Michael Prendergast is a managing director with Alvarez & Marsal Consumer and Retail Group in New York.

He has served interim CEO of Francesca’s, CEO of Maxima Holdings and CEO of Iconix Brand Group’s youth & entertainment division. Earlier in his career, he served as group president for Chaps by Ralph Lauren and as SVP for Tommy Hilfiger.

Chris DiTullio and Scott Sekella, who served as co-leads of the interim office of the CEO since May 2023 and led Joann through a quick Chapter 11 process, will continue in their roles as chief customer officer and CFO, respectively.

The company’s new 5-person board of directors includes 3 members with senior merchant experience at major retailers.

Joe Hartsig is best known in the home textiles world for the 2 years has spent as EVP, chief merchandising officer of Bed Bath & Beyond and president of Harmon Stores during the Mark Tritton era. He is now a managing director at Raines International, where he leads the Retail and Business Services practices.

Michelle Israel had a long career with Macy’s Inc., including nearly ten years as a leader in the Bloomingdales Home business. From 2015-2020, Michelle led Macy’s Off Price growth strategy, building out the Bloomingdales Outlets business and opening nearly 175 Macy’s Backstage outlets. She joined Consensus Advisors as a strategic advisor in 2023.

Mary Campbell was previously the president of vCommerce at Qurate Retail Group until her retirement in 2023. From 2018 to 2022, she served as chief merchandising officer of Qurate Retail Group and chief commerce officer of QVC. She has served on the Kontoor Brands board since this past February and the Leggett & Platt, Inc. board since 2019.

Rounding out the new board of directors are Bill Wall, who manages special situations and identifies distressed investment opportunities for Fidelity’s High Income and Alternatives Group; and Darrell Horn, who serves in a strategic advisory role with Green Square clients, advising on investment strategies.

“We are honored to join what is truly a new Joann, and we look forward to supporting the company and its leadership team in its mission to inspire creativity,” said Horn, who is serving as interim chairman of the board.

Joann entered bankruptcy as a publicly traded company in March, announcing that it would not close its store. It continues to operate more than 800 stores across 49 states along with its e-commerce business.

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Hudson, Ohio – As it searches for a permanent CEO, fabric and crafts retail Joann has named a transi…