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Destination Maternity taps former Lands’ End exec as CEO

Destination Maternity has made it official.

As had been expected, the maternity apparel retailer announced it has appointed Marla. A. Ryan CEO, effective immediately. Ryan replaces Melissa Payner-Gregor, who served as an interim CEO since January 2018 and director of the company since August 2009. Ms. Payner-Gregor is exiting the company to pursue other opportunities.

Ryan’s appointment comes a week after investors voted to replace all four directors of the company with four dissidents, including three women, one of whom was Ryan. The losing slate, which was supported by the retailer, included Payner-Gregor.

Ryan is the founder and CEO of Lola Advisors LLC, a business consultancy working in the apparel, beauty and wellness sectors. Prior to founding Lola Advisors, Ryan was employed by Lands’ End from 2009 through 2017, most recently serving as senior VP of retail.

From 2002 to 2009, Ryan served in various senior positions at J.Crew, Inc., including VP of Crewcuts, J.Crew’s children’s apparel division. Prior to that, she served in various merchandising and management roles at Brooks Brothers, American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch and The Gap.

“The entire board is confident in Marla’s experience and ability, and will work closely with her to drive growth, increase sales and help return the company to its historic success and profitability,” said newly appointed independent chair of the board Anne-Charlotte Windal. “We believe that Marla is the ideal leader to drive immediate change at Destination Maternity.”

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