November 29, 2012, 2:11 PM

Women’s apparel retailer Coldwater Creek appoints a new CEO

Jill Brown Dean will take over for the retiring Dennis Pence.

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Jill Dean

Women’s apparel retailer Coldwater Creek Inc. will have a new CEO with the New Year. Jill Brown Dean, president and chief merchandising officer, is set to take over as CEO on Jan. 1. She replaces Dennis Pence, who will retire. Dean will keep her position as president and also serve on the board of directors.

Coldwater Creek is No. 134 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Coldwater Creek hired Dean in February 2011 from her job as president of the Limited Too division of apparel retailer Tween Brands Inc., a job she had held since October 2006. Before that, Dean worked for women’s plus-size clothing chain Lane Bryant, acquired this year by Ascena Retail Group Inc., 171 in the Top 500.

Dean takes over as CEO as Coldwater Creek closes stores amid falling sales while also seeking to beef up its e-commerce strength. Earlier this year, Coldwater Creek closed on a five-year, $65 million loan from Golden Gate Capital designed to help it “complete our near-term business objectives and accelerate our growth plans,” Pence said at the time.  

Of Dean, Pence says, “Her outstanding leadership, combined with her intimate knowledge of our customer and our brand, gives me great confidence in her ability to continue to lead the turnaround of our company, positioning us for a vibrant and successful second chapter in our history. In the last two and a half years, we have recruited a management team that has the skills and determination needed to execute to success, and Jill's future role in leading this team will ensure the best possible results going forward.”

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