By  on November 10, 2009

Destination Maternity Corp. said Monday that Rebecca Matthias, co-founder, company president and chief creative officer, will retire on Sept. 30.

She will start working part time on June 15 and will be available as a consultant through Sept. 30, 2012.

Matthias created the Mothers Work line in 1981 when she was pregnant with her first child and couldn’t find career-oriented maternity clothing. Mothers Work started a small maternity wear catalogue, and Matthias and her husband, Dan, in 1986 franchised six stores. Mothers Work went public in 1993 and diversified its holdings in 1996 by acquiring Pea in the Pod and 217 Motherhood Maternity stores. The company changed its name to Destination Maternity in December 2008.

“The company is being left in good hands,” Matthias said.

Matthias said she’s looking forward to traveling with her husband, who retired a year ago.

The Philadelphia-based retailer reported third-quarter profits rose 64 percent, helped by reductions in inventory, expenses and markdowns.

In other developments, Destination Maternity said Monday it is “destaggering” its board so all members are elected annually. The format, which will become effective during the 2010 annual meeting in January, is a trend among public companies.

“The decision to destagger the company’s board and to have a non-executive chairman aligns Destination Maternity with best practices for corporate governance of public companies and accountability to stockholders,” chief executive officer Ed Krell said.

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