Fort Wayne-based Vera Bradley Inc. (Nasdaq: VRA) has selected Jacqueline Ardrey as its next president and chief executive officer. Ardrey succeeds Robert Wallstrom, who earlier this year announced his plans to step down.
Ardrey currently serves as president of Grandin Road, a home decor and furnishings company headquartered in Ohio. She is also the former CEO of Victoria Trading Co. in Kansas.
“Jackie Ardrey is a highly accomplished retail executive who is a strategic leader, a talent builder, and an innovative thinker with a strong record of operational excellence,” Robert Hall, chairman of the Vera Bradley Board of Directors, said in written remarks. “We are confident Jackie will be instrumental in developing the full potential of our two lifestyle brands, Vera Bradley and Pura Vida, and delivering consistent, sustainable growth and value to our stakeholders over the long term.”
Ardrey’s more than 25-year career also includes stints as senior vice president of merchandising and supply chain for gourmet food and gift retailer Harry and David, as well as 14 years at children’s retailer Hanna Andersson.
“I have long admired Vera Bradley, Inc. and believe both the Vera Bradley and Pura Vida brands have untapped potential in the marketplace,” Ardrey said. “I look forward to working closely with the talented leadership team and the Board to build upon the Company’s heritage, leverage its many opportunities, and drive long-term, profitable growth.”
Wallstrom has led the company since 2013. He announced his resignation in March as part of Vera Bradley’s Fiscal 2022 full-year earnings report.
Ardrey will begin her new role November 1. Vera Bradley says while his resignation will be effective on the same date, Wallstrom will continue to work with his successor through December in order to ensure a smooth transition.