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named Matthew D. Serra president and chief executive, effective March 4, after Dale W. Hilpert resigned to join housewares retailer




Serra is currently president and chief operating officer. J. Carter Bacot, a board member since 1993, will serve as nonexecutive chairman. Hilpert will resign from his positions as chairman and CEO on March 3, according to Venator, which is based in New York.

At Williams-Sonoma, Hilpert will replace Howard Lester, who will continue indefinitely as chairman. Lester will remain involved with the San Francisco-based company's daily operations until the end of 2001. Hilpert's appointment is effective April 2.

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, closed at $12.04 on the

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today, up 14 cents, or 1.2%. Williams-Sonoma gained 28 cents, or 1.1%, to $24.90.