A BREAK FROM BON-TON: The Bon-Ton Stores said Byron “Bud” Bergren, its vice chairman, is taking a medical leave “for a health condition that will require surgery.” In a statement, Tim Grumbacher, chairman and chief executive of the York, Pa.-based department store group, said the firm is “looking forward to Bud’s complete recovery and his return midsummer.” Grumbacher also stated “a strong team remains in place and the company will continue its aggressive plans regarding the integration of the Elder-Beerman and Bon-Ton operations.” Bergren had been ceo of Elder-Beerman prior to its acquisition by Bon-Ton in October and has functioned as chief operating officer since Frank Tworecke resigned from that post last month to join Warnaco as president of its sportswear unit. A spokeswoman for Bon-Ton said Grumbacher still plans to retire as ceo in mid-2004 and the search for a successor is ongoing. Grumbacher and his family held a majority stake in Bon-Ton as of last May. Last week, the firm reported its net loss widened to $5.6 million in the first quarter as sales, fattened by the Elder-Beerman purchase, expanded 87.9 percent to $266.1 million.

TOO PROMOTES ONE: Douglas Probst has been promoted to vice president-finance and controller at Too Inc. Probst is a certified public accountant and has been with the company for 14 years. He previously served as vice president of finance. The announcement was made by William May, chief operating officer, who is temporarily taking over the duties of chief financial officer following the departure of Kent Kleeberger on Monday.

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