NEW YORK — David Perdue Jr. has joined Dollar General Corp. as chief executive officer and a director of the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based discount chain.Perdue will assume the additional title of chairman from Cal Turner following the company’s annual meeting in June. Turner stepped down as ceo last November, at which time Donald Shaffer was named acting ceo. Shaffer, who’d been a candidate for the ceo position, will continue as president and chief operating officer.Perdue was most recently chairman and ceo of Pillowtex Corp., a North Carolina-based marketer of soft home furnishings. Pillowtex emerged from bankruptcy last May but has recently fallen out of compliance with its loan covenants and, in consultation with Credit Suisse First Boston, is seeking strategic alternatives that could lead to a sale or another round of bankruptcy. On March 18, Pillowtex announced that Perdue had resigned, effective March 27, "to pursue a new employment opportunity." The noncompliance issues were made public on March 28.Perdue spent eight months at the helm of Pillowtex following more than four years in senior positions with Reebok International. He joined Reebok as senior vice president of global operations and was executive vice president of the company and president and ceo of the Reebok brand at the time of his departure.He began his career with Kurt Salmon Associates, moved to Sara Lee Corp. as senior vice president and managing director of Asia operations in 1992 and then shifted to Haggar Corp. as senior vice president of operations in 1994."We were able to consider a number of highly qualified candidates and our unanimous choice was David Perdue," said Dennis Bottorff, chairman of the Dollar General search committee, in a statement. "His strategic leadership, combined with great discipline, is what we were looking for in this position."Turner will serve as a consultant to Perdue and an advisor to the board following the annual meeting, at which he will not seek reelection to Dollar General’s board.As previously reported, Korn/Ferry International conducted the search for the Dollar General ceo.Perdue’s move shifts him from a troubled home furnishings company to one of the fastest-growing value-oriented retailers in the country. In the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, DG saw net income balloon 27.7 percent to $264.9 million, as net sales expanded 14.6 percent to $6.1 billion, and grew 5.7 percent on a same-store basis. Apparel sales grew 7 percent to $622.7 million, accounting for 10.2 percent of sales versus 10.9 percent in fiscal 2001.
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