Lopez Named CEO of Blair

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NEW YORK – Adelmo Lopez has been promoted to president and chief executive officer of Blair Corp., the Warren, Penn.-based direct marketer of apparel and home merchandise.

Lopez succeeds John Zawacki, who announced last month that he’d retire in April. At the same time, Lopez, who’d served as chief operating officer and chief financial officer, was promoted to executive vice president of Blair with responsibility for operations. He’d reported to Zawacki.

Until his retirement in April, Zawacki will serve as vice chairman of the board. Larry Pitorak, who’d been Blair’s interim CFO, will assume that role on a full-time basis.

Craig Johnson, chairman, called Lopez’s promotion “the logical conclusion of a process that began when he was named chief operating officer last September.” He added that Blair “can ill afford to lose [Zawacki’s] talents and expertise at this juncture. He has the business knowledge and the sense of company history which the board needs during this vital transition period.”

Just last week, Blair was notified that Golden Gate Capital, the private-equity company which already owns the Spiegel, Newport News and Haband direct marketing properties, had boosted its equity stake in Blair to 8.1% and was actively seeking to acquire the firm.

Zawacki has been with Blair since 1972 and headed its women’s wear merchandising before becoming CEO in 1999. He’s been a director since 1987.

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