Board Search for CEO Successor Underway
Ray to Remain CEO Through Search and Transition
FORT WAYNE, Ind., June 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vera Bradley, Inc. (Nasdaq:VRA) today announced that Michael C. Ray, Chief Executive Officer of Vera Bradley, has informed the Company's Board of Directors that he plans to retire from the Company. The Board has formed a search committee and retained Spencer Stuart to assist in the search for Ray's successor. Ray will remain CEO through the transition period and intends to continue to serve as a director."On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Mike for his exceptional leadership and countless contributions to Vera Bradley over the past 15 years," said John Kyees, Vera Bradley's Lead Independent Director. "Under his stewardship, the Company has grown into an authentic lifestyle brand and powerful multi-channel business; expanded its retail footprint; become a public company; and experienced remarkable growth, with annual revenues nearly doubling to $541 million during Mike's tenure as CEO. The Board is grateful to Mike for his tireless work on behalf of the Company and is confident Vera Bradley will continue to build on this strong track record of success." Co-founder and director Barbara Bradley Baekgaard said, "Mike has played an integral role in Vera Bradley's distinctive culture and in the Company's evolution, growth and success. We will miss Mike, but respect his decision to pursue other interests. Today we have a powerful brand, a diverse portfolio of highly sought-after products, and an exceptionally loyal, multi-generational customer base. I look forward to working with a new leader to further elevate our brand." Ray said, "My time here has been exciting and incredibly fulfilling, and I am grateful to our founders Barbara Baekgaard and Patricia Miller for allowing me to be part of the Vera Bradley story. I will certainly miss working alongside my extraordinarily talented colleagues and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished as a team. While it is difficult to think of leaving this very special organization, I believe it is the right time for the Company to pursue a new leader who has the extensive retail and brand management experience that Vera Bradley needs to advance into its next phase of growth and success. I will remain fully engaged during the search and on-boarding processes to ensure a smooth transition."