Citi Trends CEO Bruce Smith leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After less than two years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Smith
  • Search for a successor
  • Smith said 74 words

(exechange) — Savannah, Georgia, June 11, 2019 — Bruce Smith, chief executive of Citi Trends, leaves — as “mutually agreed.” As announced by Citi Trends Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, Bruce D. Smith leaves his post as chief executive officer at the retail clothing chain after less than two years in the role.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months was 7.6 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 12 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left their position within two years, and 22 percent left their position within three years.

In order to provide for an orderly transition, Smith has agreed to continue to serve as CEO until the earlier of when his successor is in place or February 1, 2020.

Citi Trends will undertake a search for a successor.

Bruce Smith’s move is part of a management shake-up also involving the position of Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager.

“Making the changes necessary to thrive and grow”

A reason for Bruce Smith’s departure from the CEO post was not explicitly provided. Citi Trends Board Chairman Brian Carney said: “As we look to the future, we see opportunity to leverage our strong balance sheet and loyal customer base as we innovate with new merchandising, marketing and distribution strategies. Citi Trends is focused on improving its merchandising strategies and execution, expanding its non-apparel offerings, executing its cost cutting initiatives, and exploring new markets, including testing new stores in predominantly Hispanic areas. We are committed to making the changes necessary to thrive and grow to the benefit of our customers, employees and shareholders.”

Precise information regarding Bruce Smith’s future plans was not immediately available.


Citi Trends said that chief executive officer Bruce Smith “has decided to resign from his position as CEO.”

Citi Trends further said: “On June 10, 2019, Bruce D. Smith and the Board of Directors … of Citi Trends, Inc. … mutually agreed that he would resign as the President, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary of the Company and a member of the Board, effective on the earlier of (i) 30 days following the date on which the Company hires a new Chief Executive Officer or (ii) February 1, 2020.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Citi Trends, Inc.’s share price of 57 percent since August 2018.

Chaired by Brian Carney

Citi Trends, Inc. is chaired by Brian Carney.

In the position of CEO since 2018

Bruce D. Smith has been President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Citi Trends, Inc. since March 15, 2018.

Smith has served as the Company’s President, Chief Executive Officer, Secretary and Director since March 2018, the Company’s Acting Chief Executive Officer from March 2017 through March 2018, and as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary from March 2015 through March 2018.

Smith served as the Company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from March 2010 to March 2015 and as the Company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from April 2007 to March 2010.

From 2005 to March 2007, Smith served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Hancock Fabrics, Inc. (“Hancock”), a specialty retailer of fabrics and related accessories, and served as the Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Hancock from 1996 until 2005.

From 1991 to 1996, Smith served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Fred’s, Inc. From 1980 to 1991, Smith was a Senior Manager with Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP).

Smith is a certified public accountant.

At the time of Bruce Smith’s appointment as chief executive officer at Citi Trends, Ed Anderson, then Executive Chairman of the Board, had said: “We are very happy and proud to announce that Bruce Smith has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer. In the past year, as acting CEO, he has clearly demonstrated that he has the leadership skills to lead this company. He led the team to deliver a very successful 2017. Over the years, Bruce has proven to be an executive who leads by example, exhibiting the highest level of honesty and integrity. I am confident that the Company is in good hands with Bruce. This is a great day for Citi Trends, and under his direction and leadership, I remain optimistic about the future of our Company.”

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

Read the full story in the exechange report 24.2019 ($).