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Mervyns Seeks New Exec

Less than a year after taking on the top executive duties at Mervyns, Rick Leto has resigned from the 189-unit promotional department store chain, effective Friday, Dec. 14.

Named interim president and ceo during the search for a new top exec is Chuck Kurth, who is Mervyns cfo. Kurth joined the company in 2006.

Leto, a former evp and gmm at Kohl's, was president and chief merchandising officer at sporting goods specialty retailer Gaylan's prior to joining Mervyns in January 2005. Leto took the reins as ceo of Mervyns upon the Feb. 1, 2007 departure of Vanessa Castagna. While Castagna's title was executive chairwoman of the board of directors, she had directed day-to-day operations, the role Leto stepped into without gaining that title (he was already president and cmo).

Ranked at No.25 on the HTT Top 50 Retailing Giants list, Mervyns had 2006 home textiles sales of $193 million. The chain was acquired from Target in 2004 by a group led by Cerberus Capital Management.

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