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Stein Mart names Farthing new ceo   

Jacksonville,Fla.– Coming off a weak second quarter, Stein Mart has appointed a new company president and ceo: Linda McFarland Farthing. 

This follows the resignation of Michael Fisher, who has held the posts since 2003.

Fisher’s departure from the company, where he spent the past 14 years of his career climbing the ranks, is effective immediately.

Farthing will assume her new duties “on or about Sept. 24,” the company said. With 2006 home textiles sales of $91.0 million, Stein Mart is No.42 on the HTT Top 50 Retailing Giants.

Jay Stein, chairman of the board, said, “We are fortunate to have someone of Linda's caliber with our organization and believe she is an ideal choice for this position."

Farthing has been a member of the 270-store off-price retailer’s board of directors since 1999 and chair of the company's audit committee since 2003. She was president, coo and director of The Cato Corporation from 1990 to 1997, and later president, coo and director of jewelry retailer Friedman's Inc. in 1998. Earlier, she served for 11 years as senior vp and gmm for the J.B. Ivey Company, a Charlotte, N.C.-based regional department store chain.

In related news, Stein Mart also announced the election of two new members to the board of directors: Ralph Alexander, who recently served as ceo of Innovene, the olefins and derivatives subsidiary of BP Plc., who will serve on Stein Mart's audit and compensation committees; and Susan Falk, who is group president, womenswear, at Hartmarx Corp.; she will serve on Stein Mart's audit committee.

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