Alberini will become CEO and chairman of Lucky Brand, a purveyor of denim, pending the closing of Leonard Green & Partner LP’s $225 million purchase. He will remain on Restoration Hardware’s board, the Corte Madera, California-based chain said yesterday in a statement after U.S. markets closed. Gary Friedman, his co-CEO, will remain at the company, which sells a range of home furnishings in the U.S.
Friedman declined to say whether Alberini, who joined the chain in 2010, would be replaced in a conference call with analysts yesterday.
“His departure does add a degree of difficulty to Restoration Hardware” in 2014, David Schick, an analyst for Stifel Financial Corp. in Baltimore, wrote today in a note. Alberini and Friedman made a good pair, with the former focusing on operations and the latter on merchandising, making replacing him “that much harder,” said Schick, who recommends holding Restoration Hardware shares.
Restoration Hardware shares were little changed at $65.25 at the close in New York. The stock gained 93 percent this year and has more than doubled since going public at $24 in November 2012.
This is the second shakeup at the CEO level this year. Friedman was reappointed to his position in July after stepping down in September 2012 following a board inquiry into his personal relationship with an employee.
The announcement of Alberini’s departure coincided with the company boosting its profit forecast for this year. Earnings per share will be as much as $1.74, compared to a previous projection of a maximum of $1.70, according to a statement yesterday.
The company, which operates 87 stores, also reported third-quarter earnings, excluding some items, of 32 cents a share. That topped the 28-cent average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
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