- Summary: Home furnishings retailer Williams-Sonoma (WSM) announced that CEO Edward Mueller would retire this week, and previous CEO Howard Lester would replace him. Lester is currently chairman of the board at the company, and its driving force since purchasing it in 1978. The Journal quotes an acquaintance of Mueller's who says both Mueller and his predecessor at the post were denied 'real CEO' status by Lester, who kept them in subordinate roles to his own. A 'rising star' in the company is 37-yr. old Laura Alber, president of its Pottery Barn unit, who was, simultaneous with this move, promoted to president of the parent company. Williams-Sonoma lowered its revenue guidance for the quarter on weaker than expected Pottery Barn sales, but raised its earnings guidance significantly due to effective cost-cutting.
- Comment on related stocks/ETFs: The retail sector in general has been under pressure recently -- see commentary from David Andrew Taylor.
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