Diane Neal, who joined kitchenware retailer Sur La Table as chief executive officer in October, will relinquish her position as a director of Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
Because of her new post and what Abercrombie called “limitations on board positions as a result of those responsibilities,” she will not stand for reelection to the board. Neal will serve out the remainder of her term, which expires prior to the 2015 annual meeting, expected to be held in June, but the board expects to reduce its size to 10 members from 11 at its next meeting.
Neal’s upcoming departure was disclosed in a Form 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The former president and chief executive officer of L Brands Inc.’s Bath & Body Works unit, Neal was one of four directors added to the board last year, following a settlement agreement with activist investor Engaged Capital as it sought a fresh perspective within the company’s boardroom. The others were Bonnie Brooks, Sarah Gallagher and Stephanie Shern. Michael Jeffries was ousted as the company’s ceo in December.
Before joining Bath & Body Works, Neal was with Gap Inc., where she served as president of its outlet division, and Target Corp., where she served in posts with Dayton’s Department Stores, now part of Macy’s Inc.; Mervyns, which was sold to an investment group in 2004 and went bankrupt in 2008, and the Target Stores unit.
In addition to New Albany, Ohio-based Abercrombie, she’s also served as a director of Fossil Group Inc. and two private companies, Giggle, a retail chain for babies and infants, and Soft Surroundings, a retailer of women’s apparel.