- At Home CEO Lee Bird III will retire on Dec. 31 after 11 years of leading the company, the retailer said Wednesday in company announcement. Bird also served as chairman of the board.
- In the interim, President and Chief Merchandising Officer Jeff Evans; Chief Financial Officer Jerry Murray; and Chief Operating Officer Ashley Sheetz will simultaneously serve in a newly created Office of the CEO to handle the responsibilities of running the business.
- Erik Ragatz, At Home’s lead director, will serve as executive chairman. The company said it has begun a search for its next CEO.
At the start of Bird’s tenure in December 2012, At Home had 58 stores and $364 million in revenue. Today, the retailer has 268 stores in 40 states and nearly $2 billion in revenue, according to the release. Established in 1979 in Texas, the company was formerly known as Garden Ridge and focused on pottery and crafts.
Bird oversaw several significant transitions and initiatives during his time with the retailer. They include spearheading the company’s rebranding to At Home in 2014, leading the retailer through the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting the development of a loyalty program, which launched in 2017. That program has grown today to over 15 million members, the company said.
Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman acquired the company in 2021 for $2.8 billion. Last fall, At Home launched a mobile app and expanded same-day delivery to all stores, which average about 100,000 square feet. This spring, At Home completed a $200 million private placement and other financial moves that enabled the company to strengthen its balance sheet.
During that time frame, rivals in retail’s home decor sector struggled financially and operationally. Earlier this year Tuesday Morning and Bed Bath & Beyond filed for bankruptcy. Their failure resulted in the closure of more than 800 physical stores. In contrast, At Home has maintained a slow but steady pace of store openings.
“Helping At Home become one of the nation’s top home décor retailers is one of the great honors of my career,” Bird said. “I want to sincerely thank everyone throughout the company who has contributed to At Home’s many achievements. Together, we have created a valuable, differentiated business with even more room for growth, and I’m confident in this team’s ability to continue to build on At Home’s track record of success.”