Belk Taps Don Hendricks as CEO – Footwear News

Belk has tapped Don Hendricks as CEO, effective immediately.

Hendricks joined Belk in 2016 and served as interim CEO since May 2022, when the company’s former CEO Nir Patel left after a nearly one-year stint in the top job. Hendricks had previously served as the company’s president and COO. Before Belk, Hendricks served as COO of Hot Topic and as CIO of Gymboree.

“I’m honored to take on the role of Belk’s next CEO and continue my journey with this extraordinary company,” Hendricks said in a statement. “Through my work with Belk’s board, leadership team and talented associates, I believe the company is well positioned to build on its current momentum and achieve success now and in the future. Together, we will capitalize on the demand for great products at great prices, which Belk has long been known for, all while maintaining our unwavering commitment to customers and communities.”

Belk sued Patel, the former CEO, and his new employer, GameStop, last month in a lawsuit that accuses him of “blatantly” stealing employees.

In a complaint filed on Aug. 22, Belk alleged that Patel “commenced a campaign to solicit some of Belk’s most senior employees to resign from Belk and join him at GameStop,” even thought the former executive had signed a contact to not “solicit, recruit or hire Belk’s employees” for 12 months after he left.

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Belk claimed GameStop was aware of Patel’s actions and “actively assisted and encouraged” him.

Before leaving in May, Patel joined Belk in October 2016 as EVP/GMM and was promoted to CEO in July 2021. He previously held senior roles at Kohl’s and Lands’ End after beginning his career at Target and Gap.

Belk is also seeking to enjoin its former SVP of supply chain, Tim May, who left the retailer for GameStop in August. According to Belk, May stole confidential compensation information for hundreds of its employees in the weeks leading up to his departure, which helped enable this poaching scheme.

Belk declined to comment on the lawsuit. FN reached out to GameStop for a comment.

In February 2021, Belk filed for Chapter 11 protection in a Houston bankruptcy court. Two weeks prior to the filing, lenders holding 99% of Belk’s first lien term loan and 100% of its second lien term loan entered into a restructuring support agreement. Via this plan, the retailer raised $225 million of new capital, reduced debt by roughly $450 million and extended maturities on all of its term loans to July 2025.

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