Destination Maternity appoints new CEO
Destination Maternity has found a new chief executive officer in Marla Ryan, who will succeed Melissa Payner-Gregor, appointed interim CEO in January.
Ryan said in a statement that she intends to unlock Destination Maternity's "full potential, with a focus on performance and improving shareholder value."
Ryan is the first permanent CEO for the company since Anthony Romano left in September 2017 after a merger deal fell through. Alan Weinstein, a director, assumed the interim CEO role until January 2018 when he left and Payner-Gregor took over.
Ryan added that she plans to "implement a comprehensive and attainable business plan geared toward accelerating revenue growth, rationalizing expenses and improving our profitability."
Ryan has 25 years of retail experience and comes to Destination Maternity from her role as founder and CEO of Lola Advisors LLC, a business consultancy working in the apparel, beauty and wellness sectors.
Prior to Lola, Ryan was the senior vice president of Retail for Land's End. She was at Lands' End for 8 years where she led the brand's business at Sears, retail and outlets. Before joining Lands' End, Ryan was VP of Crewcuts at J. Crew, Inc., the company's children's apparel division.
Ryan's retail experience also includes merchandising and management roles at Brooks Brothers, American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch and The Gap, Inc.
Her appointment as CEO comes after she was voted in as one of Destination Maternity's directors, as part of a completely new female-majority Board, following weeks of tense exchanges between dissident stockholders led by Nathan G. Miller and Peter O’Malley, and the company's then Board.
Destination Maternity operates over 1,000 retail locations in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico under the brands Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod and Destination Maternity. The company has an e-commerce business as well as global affiliates in the Middle East, South Korea, Mexico and Israel.
Ryan's appointment is effective immediately. Payner-Gregor, who also served as a director for Destination Maternity since 2009, has left the company.
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