SEATTLE — Nordstrom Inc. has named Rick Hernandez, a nine-year independent director and lead director of the board since 2000, non-executive chairman, succeeding Bruce Nordstrom, who has retired.

Also retiring from the board is John Nordstrom, a cousin of Bruce. Both Bruce and John are third-generation Nordstroms. John was formerly a company co-chairman.

Hernandez is president and chief executive officer of Inter-Con Securities Systems Inc.

Blake Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom Inc., continues to lead the company.

In addition, the company announced a $1 billion share repurchase program. The prior $500 million authorization was completed during the first quarter of 2006. The shares are expected to be acquired through open market transactions during the next 18 to 36 months. The actual number and timing of share repurchases will be subject to market conditions and applicable SEC rules.

In addition, shareholders elected all nine nominated directors to the board including new nominees Erik Nordstrom and Pete Nordstrom, who serve as presidents of Nordstrom. Erik, Pete and Blake are fourth-generation Nordstroms and brothers.

The announcements were made during the retailer’s annual meeting Tuesday at which officials paid tribute to Bruce and John Nordstrom as they retired after 40 years of service on the board. In addition to the Nordstroms’ retirements, Alfred Osborne, director of the Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and senior associate dean at the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, retired after serving 19 years on the board.

This story first appeared in the May 24, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.