Express CEO Kornberg Steps Down Following Poor Holiday Season


Express is on the lookout for a new CEO after David Kornberg resigned from the position on Jan. 22. As part of his departure, Kornberg also will no longer serve as President or as a member of the apparel retailer’s Board of Directors. He will remain with Express until Feb. 21.

Kornberg has served as CEO since Jan. 30, 2015, but the company’s stock price has dropped more than 58% since then.

The resignation came one week after Express released a statement that its Q4 performance was “tracking within the guidance the company issued on Nov. 29, 2018.” This holiday sales guidance included a forecast of a 5% to 7% comparable sales decline, below initial expectations. For the full year, Express expects to see comparable store sales dips of 1% to 2%. The company plans to report Q4 and full-year results on March 11.


The Board appointed Matthew Moellering as Interim CEO and Interim President until a permanent Chief Executive Officer and President is appointed. Moellering has served as the company’s EVP and COO since September 2011 and will continue to serve as such during his tenure as Interim CEO. He has served in various roles with the company since 2006. Prior to working at Express, Moellering served in various roles with former Express parent Limited Brands (now known as L Brands) and with Procter & Gamble. He also serves on the Board of Directors of L.L.Bean.

In the specialty apparel space, which Kornberg referred to as “highly promotional” during a Q3 conference call in November 2018, Express has tried to find new ways to stand out. The retailer recently launched a clothing rental subscription service, Express Style Trial, which allows shoppers to rent three items at a time for $69.95 per month with unlimited exchanges.

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