Erik Nordstrom has accepted the official designation of principal executive officer of Nordstrom Inc. after the surprise passing of his brother, Blake Nordstrom, on Jan. 2.
Blake served as president of the company from 2000 to 2015 and since then served as co-president with his brothers, Erik and Pete, who continue to run the company.
The retailer said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Erik’s new designation as principal officer “did not involve a change in Mr. Nordstrom’s title or compensation, and both he and Peter Nordstrom continue to serve as co-presidents of the company.”
Securities and Exchange Commission regulations require that companies have principal executive officers.
An obituary prepared by the company acknowledged that having the three brothers serve as co-presidents was “an unconventional corporate structure,” but said “it worked well.”
“They divided responsibilities, made big decisions together and pushed the company to adapt and compete in the age of e-commerce,” the firm said.
Pete and Erik added in a note to employees: “Blake was the best big brother, friend and mentor anyone could ever ask for. One of the things that brings us some comfort is that Blake’s values, character and passion can still be reflected in what this company does — how we treat each other, our customers and our communities. Building on that is the best way we can think of to honor his legacy.”
Since his death at 58, following a short battle with lymphoma, the retail industry has remembered Nordstrom warmly as a gentleman merchant who helped put his family’s company on a steadier footing for the digital age.
Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer of the National Retail Federation, said shortly after Nordstrom’s passing: “In retail, we have been blessed with thoughtful visionaries. They impact all of those who are touched by the industry — whether through employment, through giving back to communities they serve or through a personal and heartfelt belief that leadership is not a right, but an opportunity to make a positive and lasting impact for current and future generations of those that follow. Blake Nordstrom embodied that commitment. He was a servant leader and a friend to all who knew him. He will be greatly missed.”