As if it doesn’t already have enough on its hands, Macy’s is now on the hunt for a new finance chief.
Paula Price, executive vice president and chief financial officer, has decided to leave the company, Macy’s said Tuesday, leaving the CFO post vacant as of June 1. Though her last day is May 31, Price will remain as an advisor through November to assist in a “well-ordered transition.”
“We will continue to take all necessary actions to ensure that Macy’s Inc. emerges from this pandemic on solid footing and ready to serve our customers. Paula remains a critical part of our plan, and while I respect her decision, I also appreciate the long runway she is giving us for this transition,” chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette said.
Price, he added, has “built a strong finance leadership team, and we are fortunate to have a very deep bench to draw on to ensure a smooth transition.”
Prior to joining Macy’s in 2018, Price she was a lecturer at Harvard Business School, according to her LinkedIn profile. Before that, she left a position as senior vice president, controller and chief accounting officer at CVS Caremark to join Ahold as executive vice president, USA and CFO.
Some like Walter Loeb, a former retail analyst and now consultant at his own firm, believe anyone who fills the CFO post need to work hard to please two different audiences.
“I hope Macy’s will get someone who has a good relationship with both the financial-lending community and with Wall Street analysts,” Loeb said.
Loeb pointed to the relationships former CFO Karen Hoguet was able to build with analysts and the banking professionals. “Hoguet had this unique ability to keep Wall Street happy, even when the news was bad,” Loeb said.
Price’s decision to part ways with Macy’s came a week after the S&P Dow Jones Indices kicked the retailer off the S&P 500 large-cap index, effectively demoting the chain to the S&P SmallCap 600 index. Volatility in the U.S. equity markets over the past four to six weeks resulted in Macy’s shares hitting a low of $4.38, a stunning fall from its 52-week high of $26.33.
Other retailers have seen similar declines with their share prices, but so far only Macy’s has been given the boot.