Designer Brands has appointed Doug Howe, President of DSW and EVP of Designer Brands, to succeed Roger Rawlins as the company’s CEO, effective April 1, 2023. At that time Rawlins will step down as CEO and as a member of the Board of Directors, but will continue to work with the retailer for a 12-month period in a Strategic Advisor role to facilitate a seamless leadership transition.
Howe brings more than 30 years of retail experience to the role, including four years at Kohl’s as Chief Merchandising Officer, where he was in charge of buying, planning, product design and development, sourcing and merchandising transformation efforts. Prior to Kohl’s, Howe was Global Chief Merchandising Officer at Qurate Retail Group, where he led QVC’s and HSN’s product leadership agenda. He also held leadership roles at Gap and Walmart, where he was SVP of Product Development, Strategy, Design and Development.
“I am honored to lead such a visionary team at Designer Brands, and I greatly appreciate the support of Roger, the executive leadership team and the board,” said Howe in a statement. “I am focused on continuing to execute on the long-range plan the team laid out at our 2022 Investor Day to double the sales of our owned brands and maintain the sales of our national brands, all while delivering with incredible speed and quality. I look forward to continuing to work with the leadership team, the board and our associates to further our strategy and grow even stronger as an organization.”
Rawlins’ departure and Howe’s appointment are both part of the Board of Directors’ comprehensive succession plan, and the two leaders will help the company conduct a search to find the next President of DSW.