- Nordstrom Chief Financial Officer Anne Bramman will step down from the role on Dec. 2, according to a late-Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. She arrived five years ago to replace longtime CFO Mike Koppel.
- Nordstrom Chief Accounting Officer Michael Maher will serve as interim CFO when Bramman leaves. The retailer has begun an internal and external search process to find her permanent replacement.
- In its filing, Nordstrom also reaffirmed its lowered fiscal year outlook from August, for full-year sales to grow 5% to 7%, and EBIT margin to reach 4.5% to 4.9%.
When Bramman arrived at Nordstrom the department store segment was already under significant pressure, and things only got more interesting for her.
“Bramman first joined Nordstrom in early 2017, ahead of what proved to be a tumultuous five years, marked by growing inconsistencies in financial performance, a failed family buyout, and the broader disruption brought on by the pandemic,” William Blair analysts said in emailed comments Tuesday. “The company also held its two only analyst events in recent history within the same period, laying out bold changes to the structure of the department store model.”
Nordstrom has worked hard to innovate, but also sometimes paid the price. The company took a $197 million write-down on apparel box service Trunk Club, three years after acquiring it, forcing a $10 million quarterly net loss a few months before Bramman’s arrival.
Nordstrom family’s attempts to take the company private were widely seen as play for the time and space, away from shareholder scrutiny, to take necessary risks. Bramman also led the scramble to shore up the company’s finances as the pandemic took a toll. Most recently the company adopted a poison pill, weeks after Mexican department store company El Puerto de Liverpool acquired a 9.9% stake.
In a statement, CEO Erik Nordstrom called Bramman “an outstanding CFO,” saying that her guidance through the pandemic provided financial strength and flexibility, and that her strategic initiatives have improved profitability and fueled long-term growth.
“Since she was named CFO in 2017, Anne’s leadership has been vital in helping us in many areas, particularly navigating the numerous challenges of the last few years,” he said.
In fact, it’s not a good time for her to leave, according to William Blair analysts led by Dylan Carden.
“For now, we see the departure of the CFO as a setback in the company’s continuing attempt to drive greater financial stability and profitability, with lack of credibility in management more broadly given underperformance and an ever-shifting model,” they said.