NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hudson’s Bay Co (HBC.TO) Chairman Richard Baker will take over as chief executive officer, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday, after his bid to take the owner of Saks Fifth Avenue private was approved by shareholders.
Current CEO Helena Foulkes, who has been at the helm since 2018, will step down, the source added.
The move comes just days after shareholders approved the Canadian department store operator’s move to go private in a C$2 billion ($1.5 billion) deal.
Baker and his partners were in a tussle with the company’s top shareholders over the deal.
The retail mogul had previously fallen short of necessary votes to win approval for his take-private quest, Reuters reported last year. He later won the support of a significant shareholder after raising the offer price to C$11 per share.
Hudson’s Bay has been shutting shops and selling assets as it sharpens its focus on luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue and its namesake stores in Canada.
Last year, for instance, the company announced the sale of its Lord + Taylor department store business to fashion rental service company Le Tote for about $100 million. It also sold its remaining stake in its German real estate venture last year for C$1.5 billion.
With the departure of Foulkes, the retailer’s Saks, Hudson’s Bay and off-price “Saks Off 5th” businesses will be able to operate “more independently,” the source said.
Baker, who has previously served as interim CEO of the company, will take on the chief role in addition to his other responsibilities as executive chairman.
The company declined to comment on the change in its leadership.
Reporting by Melissa Fares in New York and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Jonathan Oatis