Belk CEO leaving after less than a year; interim chief named

Belk has named Don Hendricks as interim CEO.

There’s a new leader in charge of Belk — at least for the time being. 

The privately-owned department store retailer on Friday said that Nir Patel is leaving the company to pursue other interests. Patel was named CEO of Belk in July 2021, succeeding Lisa Harper, who transitioned to executive chair of Belk’s board. (Harper was recently named CEO of Torrid). Patel, who joined Belk in 2016 and moved up through the ranks, has taken a position as COO of GameStop.  

Don Hendricks, currently president of Belk, has been appointed interim chief executive officer effective Monday, May 16. As president and COO, Hendricks was instrumental in leading the company through the continued unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic and spearheaded the company's initiatives to enhance its omnichannel capabilities.

Hendricks joined Belk in 2016 as the COO before adding stores to his responsibilities in 2019 and being named president in 2020. Prior to joining Belk, Hendricks held positions at Gymboree, Hot Topic and Torrid.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to lead the talented team at Belk," Hendricks said. "I'm proud of our continued work to advance the business in numerous ways, while still keeping the wellbeing of our customers, associates and communities as a top priority."

Based in North Carolina, Belk operates nearly 300 stores in 16 Southeastern states.

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