APNewsBreak: 1st 'outsider' to lead retailer LL Bean

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

FREEPORT, Maine (AP) — L.L. Bean has gone outside the company for the first time in its 103-year history for its new CEO.

The outdoors retailer told employees Tuesday that it has tapped the chief merchandising and marketing officer of Chinese online grocer Yihaodian (yih-HOH-dun).

Chairman Shawn Gorman told workers in a memo provided to The Associated Press that CEO Stephen Smith "embodies the values of L.L. Bean." He starts in January and replaces Chris McCormick, who served for 14 years.

McCormick was the first person outside the L.L. Bean family to serve as CEO. He had been promoted from within.

The Maine-based company was founded in 1912, when Leon Leonwood Bean sold his original Maine Hunting Shoe. The company had $1.6 billion in sales last year and has more than 5,000 workers.