Handler plans to resign as Macy co-chairman

April 21, 1993|By Newsday

NEW YORK -- In a changing of the guard, R.H. Macy & Co. said yesterday that one of its co-chairmen, a longtime company insider, is stepping down.

Mark S. Handler, 60, will resign as Macy co-chairman and co-chief executive officer effective Aug. 1, making Myron E. Ullman III, 46, the company's sole chairman and chief executive.

The two executives were installed as co-chief executives after the company filed for bankruptcy early last year.

Mr. Handler, as president and chief merchandising officer under former Macy's chairman Edward S. Finkelstein, is viewed by retailing officials as a symbol of the previous Macy's management that led the company into bankruptcy. Mr. Ullman, a former Federated Department Stores executive, is seen as an outsider with strong financial and management skills.

"You have to have one guy run the company, and that person couldn't be someone from the same management staff that drove the company into bankruptcy," said Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, a New York-based retail consulting company.

Mr. Handler, a 35-year veteran of the company, will continue as a merchandising executive at Macy until the end of his contract in 1995. He and Mr. Ullman, who has been with Macy's since 1988, had been charged with implementing a business plan to help steer the venerable chain out of bankruptcy.

"It has been clear that Ullman is the man who has been front and center with the financial community, so it makes sense that he would be tapped as the leader," says Isaac Lagnado, a New York retail consultant with the firm Tactical Retail Solutions.

Neither Mr. Handler nor Mr. Ullman could be reached for comment.

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