- Sur La Table on Monday announced the appointment of Billy May as chief executive officer, succeeding Diane Neal, who retired earlier this year. He’ll also join the board of directors.
- May is a fourth-generation retailer with more than two decades of retail, digital marketing, and e-commerce experience, the company said in an email to Retail Dive, including at Abercrombie and Fitch where he most recently served as senior vice president and a member of the executive leadership team.
- He also led Global Digital and eCommerce at Adidas Group, and held various leadership roles at Sears Holdings and Lowe’s Companies. He started his career as an executive trainee and buyer within the May Company and currently serves as vice chair and director at Shop.org, the National Retail Federation’s digital division.
Sur La Table is still best known on the West Coast, but with the help of retail veteran Neal, it aimed to continue expanding east while boosting e-commerce. The high-end kitchenware retailer weathered the recession well, but has been victimized by "showrooming," where many potential customers bought some of its featured goods at other online retailers.
The Seattle-based retailer tapped Neal just three years ago to replace Jack Schwefel who had been CEO since 2007. Since being acquired by Bahrain-based investment firm Investcorp in 2011, Sur La Table, founded in 1972, has expanded to more than 100 stores.
Kevin Nickelberry, managing director at Investcorp and a member of Sur La Table’s board, thanked Neal for her contributions to Sur La Table in a statement emailed to Retail Dive and expressed excitement about moving forward with May. "We are excited to work with Billy going forward and believe his extensive experience across the digital landscape – marketing, eCommerce, and omnichannel – aligns well with Sur La Table’s strategic priorities," Nickelberry said.