Wet Seal has hired Susan P. McGalla as the company’s new CEO. She replaces former CEO Ed Thomas, who in July decided not to renew his contract. Thomas will remain employed at Wet Seal until the first week in February to aid in the transition.
McGalla will take the helm at the apparel company next week, working out of Pittsburgh until she and her family relocate to Southern California in August.
McGalla said she is very excited to take the lead at Wet Seal.
“The company has tremendous growth potential, and the financial strength to execute its growth and other business strategies,” she said. “I look forward to partnering with management and the board of directors to build upon the success of this well-recognized juniors and young contemporary retail franchise.”
McGalla comes from a long background in fashion retail and merchandising, and joins Wet Seal after a 14-year career with American Eagle Outfitters. She most recently served as company president and chief merchandising officer, leading four brands in children’s, teen and youth contemporary demographics. While she was with American Eagle, she held key roles during a period of high growth, with nearly 1,100 retail locations and $3 billion in annual revenue.
Wet Seal Chairman Hal Kahn said McGalla is a perfect fit for the company.
“Susan brings proven specialty retail merchandising and corporate leadership talent to our company, having led all creative functions in addition to new brand development at American Eagle Outfitters during a sustained period of growth in sales productivity, store base and market capitalization,” Kahn said. “Susan complements an already strong executive team at Wet Seal that will drive further growth and improvement of our two operating divisions.”
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