Burlington Coat Factory store exterior, Mt, Laural, New Jersey, USAVarious, America

Thomas Kingsbury is stepping down as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Burlington Stores Inc. and will be succeeded in the ceo role by Michael O’Sullivan, former president and chief operating officer of Ross Stores Inc.

As part of the succession plan, Jennifer Vecchio, Burlington’s chief merchandising officer, has been appointed to the new role of president and chief merchandising officer. She continues to be responsible for merchandising and planning, and will also oversee marketing and strategy.

“Given our tremendous progress and the strong foundation we have established, the board and I believe now is the right time to transition to new leadership,” said Kingsbury. “Michael brings extensive experience and a proven record of success in the off-price retail business, and his team-oriented leadership style makes him a natural fit for our organization.”

“Jennifer has outstanding merchandising and leadership skills, strong relationships with the vendor community and a deep understanding of our business model. She is an energetic and inspirational leader,” Kingsbury added.

O’Sullivan commented, “Under Tom’s leadership, Burlington has delivered outstanding operating results. Looking forward, I continue to see additional potential for comparable store sales growth, expansion of the store fleet, and improvement in operating margins.”

John J. Mahoney, Burlington’s lead independent director and chair of the compensation committee, said that under Kingsbury’s leadership, the company’s stock price has increased more than 800 percent since the IPO in 2013.
The altered its outlook on adjusted earnings per share for the quarter ending May 4, to be in the range of $1.21 to $1.25, compared to previous guidance of $1.21 to $1.31. Comparable-store sales are expected to increase in the range of 0 to 0.5 percent, within the previous guidance of 0 to 2 percent.

O’Sullivan has been with Ross since 2003 and for the last ten years, was president and coo. Prior to Ross Stores, O’Sullivan was a partner at Bain & Company focusing on the retail industry.

Vecchio joined Burlington as executive vice president/chief merchandising officer in May 2015 after providing consulting services to the merchant group for 18 months. In January 2017, she was promoted to chief merchandising officer. From 1997 to 2011, she held merchandising positions at Ross Stores including evp of merchandise men’s and kids. Earlier, she was in the merchandising organization at Macy’s.

The Herbert Mines executive search firm assisted Burlington’s board in the search process.