Tim Belk To Step Down As Belk CEO, Hot Topic’s Lisa Harper To Step In

Tim Belk
Tim Belk.
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Belk Inc. CEO Tim Belk is ready to hang up his hat.

The grandson of William Henry Belk, founder of the Charlotte, N.C.-based department store chain, led his family’s business as CEO since 2004. His departure is being dubbed the “end of an era” — bringing to a close nearly 130 years of family leadership for the retail chain.

Former Hot Topic Inc. CEO Lisa Harper will become the company’s new chief, effective July 5.

It has been an honor to continue my family’s legacy by serving the company over the past 35 years,” Tim Belk said in a release Wednesday. “I would like to express my gratitude to the thousands of associates, both current and former, and the customers who have helped create the company Belk is today. Their commitment to and passion for our company has been incredible.”

The family-run department store chain is based in Charlotte, N.C. The family-run department store chain is based in Charlotte, N.C. Courtesy of Belk
Tim Belk started at the company in 1981 and had served in a number of roles, among them a buyer, SVP of human resources, and president of stores and real estate.

In August 2015, private equity firm Sycamore Partners — owner and licensee of brands such as Jones New York, Aeropostale as well as Harper’s former employer Hot Topic — acquired Belk for about $3 billion.

After managing through the ownership transition and filling a number of key management positions, I’ve decided this is an opportune time for me to retire as CEO of Belk,” Tim Belk said. “I also appreciate the partnership we’ve developed with Stefan Kaluzny and Sycamore Partners. Their vision and expertise will carry the company forward to even greater success.”

On incoming CEO Harper, he added: “A North Carolina native who worked on the selling floor at Belk as one of her first jobs, Lisa Harper brings more than two decades of experience across the retail industry. I am confident she will be a dynamic leader who will carry forth our values, our brand, and our focus on our customers. I look forward to working with Lisa during a transition period in July.”

Tim Belk will continue to serve on the company’s board.