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Big Lots names Bruce Thorn as president, CEO

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Big Lots Inc. has appointed Bruce Thorn president and chief executive officer. 

Most recently, Thorn served as president and chief operating officer of Tailored Brands Inc., a leading specialty retailer of men’s tailored clothing and men’s formalwear.

Following a transition period with Tailored Brands, Thorn is expected to be formally appointed president and CEO of Big Lots at the end of September, at which time Thorn will also be brought onto the company’s board as a director to fill the vacancy created at the time of David Campisi’s retirement in April 2018.

Thorn joined Tailored Brands in 2015 as executive vice president and chief operating officer. In March 2017, he was named president and COO.

Prior to joining Tailored Brands, Thorn held various enterprise-level roles at PetSmart Inc. since 2007, most recently as executive vice president of store operations, services and supply chain. 

Thorn’s other experiences include leadership positions with Gap Inc., Cintas Corp., LESCO Inc. and the U.S. Army. 

Bruce Thorn is a strong strategic thinker in addition to being an accomplished retail executive and operator,” said Cynthia Jamison, chair of the nominating/corporate governance committee and of the board’s search committee. “We were fortunate to be able to consider a couple of very capable internal candidates in addition to a broad range of external candidates. Bruce’s combination of strategic vision, leadership skills and history of operational success impressed all of us and the search firm that we used in the process. We believe that he will be able to build on the company’s transformation into a community retailer while also nimbly navigating the rapidly changing and disrupted retail environment.”

James Chambers, the company’s non-executive chair, added: “The entire board looks forward to welcoming Bruce to Big Lots and to his leadership. We also want to express our gratitude to Lisa Bachmann, executive vice president, chief merchandising and operating officer, and Tim Johnson, executive vice president, chief administrative officer and chief financial officer, as well as the other members of the company’s Executive Leadership Team, for their leadership and stewardship of the company during the search period of the past several months. We are confident that Bruce’s addition will make an already strong and well-established management team even better.”


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