The National Retail Federation has named Walmart U.S. president and chief executive officer John Furner chairman of its board, succeeding Mike George, the former Qurate Retail Inc. president and CEO, who served in the role since 2020.
In addition, Tony Spring, chairman and CEO of Bloomingdale’s, has been named chair of the NRF Foundation Board. Spring will serve a three-year term and succeeds Jeff Gennette, Macy’s Inc. chairman and CEO, in that role.
The appointments were revealed Saturday following the annual winter meeting of the NRF board coinciding with NRF’s annual convention and trade expo, called “The Big Show,” which runs through Tuesday at Manhattan’s Javits Center.
“Retailers are the lifeblood of local communities, serving millions of customers each day with the items they need and much more,” Furner said. “Our industry is uniquely positioned to ignite economic growth and positive change in neighborhoods big and small. I look forward to leading the NRF board during this consequential time, and I’m confident we’ll all continue to rise to the occasion.”
NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay thanked George for his leadership as chairman of NRF, calling his insights and guidance “critical” to the NRF and the retail industry navigating the pandemic.
“We are extremely fortunate to gain John’s leadership at this pivotal point, as retailers move beyond the pandemic,” Shay said. “As we begin a new year and a new chapter for the industry, John’s extensive industry experience and knowledge will guide NRF and retailers large and small into a new era of innovation.”
“I’ve been fortunate enough to build my career with Bloomingdale’s over the past 35 years, so I know just how transformative a career in retail can be,” Spring said. “I look forward to joining the NRF Foundation as chair, and furthering its mission to provide the skills, resources and opportunities for people to thrive and grow in the retail industry.” The Foundation also raises money for scholarships.
“We are thankful to Jeff Gennette for his dedicated leadership of the NRF Foundation board, and we are appreciative of all who have served on our board to help us prepare people of all backgrounds for life-changing careers,” NRF Foundation executive director Bill Thorne said.