Kohl’s has appointed interim CEO Tom Kingsbury to the role on a permanent basis, effective Feb. 2. He brings more than 40 years of retail experience to the position, most recently as President and CEO of Burlington Stores, where he served from 2008 to 2019. He also has held leadership and board roles at The May Department Stores Company.
“Tom’s exceptional track record growing retail businesses and his deep knowledge of Kohl’s make him the right choice for Kohl’s next CEO,” said Peter Boneparth, Chair of Kohl’s Board of Directors in a statement. “Since joining the board, Tom has added valuable insight and perspective, and as Interim CEO, he has demonstrated strong leadership and made a meaningful and positive impact on the organization. The Board has full confidence in Tom’s ability to drive the business forward, focusing on accelerating sales and profitability, and we look forward to our continued work together.”
Kingsbury is currently leading the retailer as it seeks to turn its fortunes around after spurning multiple acquisition bids, including from Franchise Group, Sycamore Partners and Acacia Research. The rejections led to activist investors pressuring former CEO Michelle Gass to leave the company and take her current role as President and eventual CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. It remains to be seen if Kingsbury, who joined Kohl’s in December 2022, will be more open to a sale or will seek to revitalize the brand independently.
“This is a pivotal time for Kohl’s, and I am excited and energized to work with our talented team to elevate our performance and create value,” said Kingsbury in a statement. “During the last few months, I have seen the passion and dedication of the Kohl’s team and the unique value we can bring to our customers nationwide. I look forward to partnering with the Board and leadership team to build on our strengths and deliver on our strategy for our shareholders and other stakeholders.”