Macy's on Wednesday announced that Adrian Mitchell, a partner at Boston Consulting Group, will take the chief financial officer job on Nov. 2, according to a company press release.
Before BCG, Mitchell was CEO of home furnishings retailer Arhaus from 2016 to 2017. Before that he was CFO at Crate and Barrel, also taking on chief operating officer duties and later also serving as interim CEO. Before joining Crate and Barrel in 2010, he held management positions at Target, and began his career at McKinsey & Company, where he co-founded the NA Lean Operations Retail Practice.
Felicia Williams, who has been in the role in the interim after the May departure of Paula Price, will join the organization CEO Action for Racial Equity as a Macy's, Inc. Fellow.
This position at Macy's has endured a revolving door since longtime CFO Karen Hoguet retired in 2019.
Price arrived from Harvard Business School and was one of the architects of the department store's Polaris turnaround strategy, a plan the retailer was forced to ditch shortly after its February unveiling as the pandemic swept the globe and upended retail in the U.S. In light of that, the retailer likely sees the need for a CFO who is well equipped to manage what has become a financial nightmare for Macy's and other retailers.
Earlier this year, along with other stores deemed nonessential, Macy's was forced to close all of its stores, and keep them closed for nearly two months, an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Questions about the adequacy of its liquidity to support it during the crisis arose almost immediately, and the company reportedly hired consultancy Lazard and law firm Kirkland & Ellis, restructuring experts that ring bankruptcy alarms for investors and suppliers. In the first quarter, Macy's racked up a staggering $4 billion operating loss.
In response, Macy's drew $1.5 billion from its credit facility, nixed its shareholder dividend, raised $1.3 billion through new bonds tied to some of its real estate assets and slashed its corporate workforce by nearly 4,000.
With stores shut, the company pivoted to offer curbside pickup. And as stores reopened sales picked up more than executives had anticipated. Despite the pandemic, the department store found a way to hold its annual Thanksgiving Day parade, a major holiday marketing opportunity, if only through a more subdued, TV-only presentation.
Recently, the company invested in Klarna and entered into a partnership with the payments company to allow customers to pay for their purchases in four installments. In announcing the option, Macy's Chief Digital Officer Matt Baer said it would provide customers with "financial control and convenience," something that could be crucial at a time of anxiety about the economy that, along with the ongoing pandemic, could put a damper on holiday sales.