Belk announced on Tuesday several promotions within the company’s senior leadership, most notably the promotion of Nir Patel to CEO. Lisa Harper, who served as Belk’s CEO dating back to July 2016, has transitioned to executive chair of the retailer’s board of directors. Patel’s promotion sees him moving from president and chief merchandising officer to CEO effective immediately.
“I am extremely thankful to all of our associates and customers at Belk for making my last five years here so meaningful,” Harper said. “To think that one of my very first jobs started at my local Belk store, and then my career allowed me to come full circle serving as the CEO, has truly been an honor. I’m incredibly proud of everything we have accomplished together over the years as we worked to evolve our company and give our customers the very best products and services that they deserve. I look forward to watching how Belk will continue to transform the shopping experience for years to come.”
Patel joined Belk in 2016 as EVP and GMM of men’s and e-commerce where he also expanded his responsibilities to include home, kids, and visual merchandising before he was promoted to chief merchandising officer in 2018. Patel was then named president in 2020 as he assumed additional responsibilities of marketing and e-commerce. Prior to his years at Belk, Patel was an SVP with Kohl’s, a VP at Land’s End, and worked for Abercrombie & Fitch, Target, and Gap Inc.
“I’m honored to continue the great legacy of Belk,” Patel added. “We quickly adapted to the challenges the pandemic threw at us this past year. I’m proud of our team’s ability to stay focused on what really matters to our customers – having the best products and making their shopping experience safe and seamless. We’ve accomplished so much already, and I’m excited to see all the ways that we’ll continue to grow.”
Along with the CEO change, Belk also announced that Don Hendricks will be promoted from chief operating officer to president. The company also hired Chris Kolbe as executive vice president, chief merchandising officer.
Hendricks came to Belk in 2016, joining the organization as chief operating officer, and then added stores to his responsibilities in 2019. A proven leader, Hendricks previously worked at Gymboree, Hot Topic, and Torrid having several leadership roles within those organizations, including CIO and chief operating officer. Kolbe joins the organization as executive vice president, chief merchandising officer bringing 30 years of experience, including senior leadership roles, working for Kohl’s, Land’s End, Original Penguin, and Urban Outfitters throughout his career. In his new role, Kolbe will lead the merchandising, product design, and sourcing teams for Belk.