Computerworld - Slumping sales growth has prompted Nordstrom Inc. to replace several key executives, including its first CIO, who departed last week after just seven months on the job.
A spokeswoman for the Seattle-based retailer said the company could announce a replacement for exiting CIO Richard Lennon as early as this week. Lennon joined Nordstrom in February after leaving Louisville, Ky.-based BrownForman Corp.
"We felt we needed a change in the leadership to move forward on our technology initiatives," said Nordstrom spokeswoman Paula Weigand, adding that the company has been working on improving its replenishment and inventory management systems.
Like many retailers, Nordstrom faces significant challenges as it re-evaluates and upgrades its information technology systems, said Carol Ferrara, a retail analyst at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Group Inc. Regarding the Nordstrom CIO's departure, Ferrara said cultural issues and organizational adjustments sometimes make it "difficult for the CIOs to become effective and integrated" into family-owned businesses.
"It's interesting, especially in retail, to see the kind of knee-jerk reaction to a bad quarter," Ferrara said, noting that many retailers experienced tough quarters, especially in the apparel segment. "We see the same CIOs and executives moving from company to company, more so than in a lot of other industries."
Whether Lennon's exit prompts the infusion of new blood from another retailer remains to be seen. Other recently departed executives were replaced by longtime Nordstrom employees bearing the family surname.
Bruce Nordstrom, 66, came out of retirement to take over as chairman of the board of directors when John Whitacre resigned as chairman and CEO late last month. One of his sons, Blake Nordstrom, 39, a 26-year veteran of the company, was appointed president. Another son, Pete Nordstrom, 38, who joined the company in 1978, was named president of Nordstrom's full-line store group after 19-year veteran Marty Wikstrom resigned earlier this month.
Enrique Hernandez Jr., the newly appointed lead independent director at Nordstrom, said in a recent prepared statement, "We believe new leadership will bring an energized responsiveness necessary to maintain a strong focus on customers, while pushing Nordstrom to higher levels of profitability."
- Dot-coms seek synergy with retail parents, Jan. 31, 2000
- 'Human touch' crucial to Internet retailers' success, Jan. 25, 1999
- Nordstrom spins off e-comm unit, Aug. 25, 1999
Read more about Staff Management in Computerworld's Staff Management Topic Center.
- The Social Business: Unlocking the collective knowledge of people Five years ago, IBM observed the planet was becoming instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. 20,000 engagements later, here's what we know and believe about...
- Hiring the Right Talent Since Human Resources (HR) departments want to hire quality candidates, they have no room for error during job interviews. What can Human Resources...
- Onboarding New Employees Read this paper to understand the difference between training and socialization in employee onboarding.
- IT Skills Proficiency Tool This tool helps you determine if your team has the right skill sets and what gaps need to be filled. By evaluating your...
- Geek's Guide to Presenting to Business People Watch this on-demand webinar with Paul Glen, author of "Leading Geeks," to learn how to effectively introduce technical initiatives to non-technical users (executives...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily... All Staff Management White Papers | Webcasts