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


(WSM) - Get Report


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.

Shares of Venator, which owns

Foot Locker


Lady Foot Locker


Champs Sports

, closed at $12.04 on the

New York Stock Exchange

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