Williams-Sonoma’s Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer To Retire

by Katie Lee

San Francisco — Pat Connolly, chief strategy and business development officer and a board member of Williams-Sonoma, Inc., will be retiring from both roles on July 31, 2016, after 37 years with the company.

“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,” says Laura Alber, president and chief executive officer. “Pat has played an instrumental role in building our company and its iconic portfolio of brands.”

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, 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 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, Connolly has served as chief strategy and business development officer. Those responsibilities will be assumed by the office of the CEO.

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.

SOURCE: Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

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