Ed Mueller will step down from his position as CEO of Williams-Sonoma Inc. effective July 14. Howard Lester, the multi-brand cataloger and retailer’s chairman, will take over the CEO position while continuing to serve as chairman. Lester previously served as CEO from 1979 to 2001.
Mueller will retain his director’s seat through the expiration of his term in May 2007.
The company also promoted Laura Alber, president of Pottery Barn Brands to president of Williams-Sonoma, Inc.; Sharon McCollam, executive VP and CFO, to Executive VP, COO and CFO; and Dean Miller, Senior VP of Global Logistics and Sourcing, to Executive VP and chief supply chain officer.
In a statement, Lester characterized his reappointment to the CEO position as “a transitional step in a longer-term succession plan that we expect will take us a couple of years to fully implement.”