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Urban Taps New President for Namesake Brand

VF Corp.’s Steve Murray to take over from retiring Tedford Marlow.

Urban Outfitters Inc. said Wednesday that Tedford Marlow will retire as president of its namesake brand next month. He will be succeeded by Steve Murray, president of the VF Action Sports Coalition.

Marlow, who became president of Urban Outfitters in 2001, will step down April 12. The company said it expects him to stay through next spring as executive director of business development, focusing on international expansion and special projects.

Marlow expanded the brand internationally, opening eight stores in the U.K. and units in Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Scotland and Sweden. The brand launched a European market Web site in 2007.

Murray has been president of the VF Action Sports unit, which includes Vans and Reef, since February 2009. He was president of the Vans brand from 2004 to 2009, and was chief marketing officer at Vans from 2002 to 2004. Before that, he was senior vice president of international at Vans. Murray has also worked at Reebok International, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Urban Outfitters chief executive officer Glen Senk said Murray was “a perfect fit for Urban Outfitters, with his vast global experience and brilliant track record in growing lifestyle brands and retail concepts.” He also cited Murray’s familiarity of global youth culture from his work at Vans and Reebok.

Marlow’s retirement comes after the retirement of Urban’s chief financial officer, John Kyees, which “adds some risk to the story,” said Liz Dunn, a partner at Thomas Weisel Partners, in a research note.

“The Urban business is very healthy,” Senk said. “There’s nothing that’s broken about the business.”