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Mervyns seeks new president as Leto departs     

Hayward, Calif. – 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.

A former evp and gmm at Kohl’s, he was president and chief merchandising officer at sporting goods specialty retailer Gaylan’s prior to joining Mervyns in January 2005. Leto took the reins at 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 the title (he was already president and cmo at the time).

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 Corp. in 2004 by a private investment group led by New York-based Cerberus Capital Management.

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