rue21, inc. Appoints Interim CEO

by Katie Lee

Warrendale, Pa. — rue21, inc., a leading specialty apparel retailer, has appointed CFO Keith McDonough as interim chief executive officer, succeeding Bob Fisch. McDonough will serve in this interim role as the board of directors conducts a search for a new CEO. McDonough, who has served as the CFO of rue21 for 13 years, has more than three decades of senior leadership experience in the retail industry. 

The company also has appointed Nina Barjesteh as chief merchandising officer. Barjesteh, who has more than 20 years of experience in the retail and fashion industry, joins rue21 from Target, where she served as the vice president, general merchandise manager of the women’s apparel division. She will be responsible for all of rue21’s merchandising initiatives. Barjesteh succeeds Kim Reynolds.

Also appointed was Elizabeth Hodges as chief customer officer. In this new position for rue21, Hodges will oversee the company’s brand marketing and advertising initiatives. She joins rue21 from Chico’s FAS, where she spent 9 years, most recently as senior vice president of customer experience. Hodges previously held leadership positions with JC Penney, American Eagle and Lane Bryant.

“We thank Bob Fisch and Kim Reynolds for their 15 years of collaboration and passion in building rue21 into a leading teen specialty apparel retailer,” says McDonough. “We are very excited to have Nina Barjesteh and Liz Hodges join the rue21 leadership team. They both will play key roles as we further position our business for long term growth.”

rue21 today operates 1,213 stores in 48 states. The company will open approximately 40 new stores and upgrade 100 existing stores in fiscal 2016. For more information, visit

SOURCE: rue21, inc.

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