Destination Maternity CEO Steps Down Amid Plummeting Sales


Destination Maternity CEO Marla Ryan has resigned from her role, marking the departure of the company’s fourth chief executive in two years. Ryan will stay on with the company as President of Product Design, Sourcing and Merchandising.

As Destination Maternity searches for a permanent CEO, the retailer’s board of directors created an interim Office of the CEO, which will oversee the company’s daily operations. The Office will consist of Lisa Gavales, a board member who will serve as Chair of the Office of the CEO, Dave Helkey, current CFO and COO, and Ryan. The board also named a new Chairman — Gene Davis, current Chairman and CEO of PIRINATE Consulting Group, LLC.

The board unanimously approved the leadership changes. In addition to the permanent CEO search, the board will conduct a comprehensive review of the company’s strategic initiatives with the goal of improving company performance.


The change in leadership was made on the same day Destination Maternity reported an 8.7% drop in Q1 sales, a 7.2% drop in same-store sales. The poor report sent the retailer’s stock falling nearly 35%, opening at $1.17 on June 13 — its lowest open price in the last two years.

Destination Maternity closed 110 stores in Q1, part of the company’s initiative to shutter 174 stores by the end of 2019.

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