Bullock's, the Los Angeles-based department store chain, said that James E. Gray, currently executive vice president, will become president May 1, succeeding Bruce M. Schwaegler, who has held the post for eight years.
Schwaegler, 47, said he is resigning as of May 31 to pursue a career change that he began contemplating two years ago.
"I am going to put my full-time energy into acquiring a business on a private basis," he said in a telephone interview. "My experience and interest is in retailing, so my first focus of attention will be on a retail business. I won't venture far from retailing; it is a subject that I know." He plans to continue to work in Southern California.
Schwaegler assumed the presidency at Bullock's, a division of Federated Department Stores, in 1977 after joining Federated's Filene's division 10 years earlier.