Jeff Kantor, Macy’s chief merchandising officer, has decided to retire after 36 years at the department store chain and its predecessor companies.
While Kantor doesn’t leave Macy’s until April 16, the retailer has already initiated a search for his successor.
Kantor was instrumental in growing the company over the years and is most recently credited with evolving the merchandising group to a more efficient, agile and streamlined organization.
He was named chief merchandising officer in September 2017, with oversight of merchandising, private brands and planning. At the time, Macy’s chairman and chief executive officer Jeff Gennette said the $25 billion company was “massively simplifying our approach to merchandising with structural and talent changes. We are combining three organizations — merchandising planning, private brands and merchandising national brands — into one, with one single leader, Jeff Kantor.”
Prior to becoming chief merchandising officer, Kantor was chief stores and human resources officer.
Kantor was named chief stores officer of Macy’s Inc. in February 2015 with responsibility for overseeing all aspects of store strategy, management and operations. He assumed additional responsibility for human resources in February 2017.
Earlier in his Macy’s career, Kantor was chairman of macys.com and served as the web site’s president for merchandising. Prior to that, Kantor had been Macy’s president, merchandising for home.
Even earlier, he was president and ceo of the Hecht’s/Strawbridge’s division of the May Department Stores Co., which was acquired by Macy’s in 2005. Kantor started his career as an assistant buyer at the Boston-based Filene’s/Kaufmann’s division of May Co. in 1981.
“While we will miss his leadership, we support him in his decision and wish him all the best in his retirement,” said a Macy’s spokesperson. “With the support of Jeff and the senior merchandising team, we expect a smooth transition.”