July 14, 2006, 12:00 AM

Lester replaces Mueller as CEO at Williams-Sonoma Inc.

Williams-Sonoma Inc. CEO Ed Mueller retired, effective today, the company reported. He will continue to serve on the board of directors. He is being replaced by board chairman Howard Lester, who served as CEO between 1979 and 2001.

Williams-Sonoma Inc. CEO Ed Mueller retired, effective today, the company reported. He will continue to serve on the board of directors until his term expires next May.

Howard Lester, board chairman since 1986, succeeds Mueller as CEO. He previously served as CEO between 1979 and 2001. “We would like to thank Ed for his many contributions during his tenure as chief executive officer, and look forward to his ongoing participation as a non-executive director,” Lester said.

The company also announced the promotions of Laura Alber, president, Pottery Barn Brands, to president of Williams Sonoma; Sharon McCollam, executive vice president and chief financial officer, to executive vice president, chief operating and chief financial officer; and Dean Miller, senior vice president, global logistics and sourcing, to executive vice president and chief supply chain officer.

Williams-Sonoma is No. 19 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites.

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