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Williams-Sonoma Shares Fall After COO Quits

March 17, 2001|Bloomberg News

Shares of Williams-Sonoma Inc. fell 5.6% following the resignation of President and Chief Operating Officer Gary Friedman on Thursday night after 13 years at the home furnishings and cookware retailer. The San Francisco-based company's stock fell $1.64 to $27.87 on the New York Stock Exchange. Friedman said he quit out of disappointment he wasn't named chief executive. The position was given last month to Venator Group Inc. CEO Dale Hilpert. Friedman, 42, had been instrumental in developing the company's Pottery Barn chain. He joined Williams-Sonoma in 1988 from Gap Inc. and was responsible for creating concepts such as Pottery Barn Kids and the planned lower-priced Elm Street stores. Hilpert will start at Williams-Sonoma on April 2. In the third quarter, Williams-Sonoma earnings plunged a worse-than-expected 75% because of slow catalog sales and higher costs.

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