SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE: WSM) announced today that Pat Connolly, the company’s Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors, will be retiring from both roles on July 31, 2016, after 37 years with the company.
Laura Alber, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “On behalf of our management team and all of our associates, I give my deepest thanks to Pat for all of his contributions to our company over the past several decades. Pat has played an instrumental role in building our company and its iconic portfolio of brands.”
Adrian Bellamy, Chairman of the Board, said, “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Pat for his many years of dedicated service to the company. In his years as a member of our Board, he helped grow annual company revenues from $35 million to $5 billion. His early advocacy for and strong belief in e-commerce led to the company establishing a leadership position that continues to this day.”
Mr. Connolly said, “I have had the privilege of spending my career at one of the greatest companies in the world. I learned early on from retail icons Chuck Williams and Howard Lester, and together we launched beautiful stores, built an innovative catalog business, launched compelling new brands, and became one of the largest and most profitable global internet retailers. I am proud to have spent my life working with talented and inspiring people, and the current deeply tenured management team is the strongest that I have seen in all of my years with the organization. I know that the company’s core value of customer service and its high standard of integrity in all of its business dealings are firmly in place, and I look forward to watching this strong team continue to grow the company and create significant value for its shareholders. I would like to thank Laura Alber for her support of me over the 20 years that we have worked together. I would also like to thank our Board and all of our associates for their support and friendship over the years – you are family to me.”
Mr. Connolly joined Williams-Sonoma, Inc. in 1979 as Vice President, Mail Order. At the time, company sales were $4.5 million. He joined the Board of Directors in 1983, and that year, together with founder Chuck Williams and CEO Howard Lester, took the company public. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Connolly led the company’s direct-to-customer business, overseeing all aspects of merchandising, marketing, customer service, and inventory management for the Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids brands. In 2000, the company re-organized to a brand-led structure, and Mr. Connolly was promoted to Chief Marketing Officer. During his tenure, the company developed a deep expertise in customer information management, analytics, and sophisticated statistical modeling. This expertise became a core competency, allowing the company to build one of the most successful multi-channel strategies in retail.
Since 2014, Mr. Connolly has served as Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer. Those responsibilities will be assumed by the office of the CEO.
ABOUT WILLIAMS-SONOMA, INC.
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is a specialty retailer of high-quality products for the home. These products, representing eight distinct merchandise strategies – Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, West Elm, PBteen, Williams-Sonoma Home, Rejuvenation, and Mark and Graham – are marketed through e-commerce websites, direct mail catalogs and 624 stores. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. currently operates in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, offers international shipping to customers worldwide, and has unaffiliated franchisees that operate stores in the Middle East and the Philippines and stores and e-commerce websites in Mexico.