Williams-Sonoma declares ceo transition, new forecast

San Francisco – Williams-Sonoma today announced new fiscal guidelines for 2006 – a boost to earnings but a downturn in sales – and said ceo Ed Mueller will retire in an orderly transition.

Sharon McCollam, executive vp, coo and cfo, said earnings would be impacted by severance pay to Mueller but would benefit to the tune of

$12 million from unredeemed gift certificates.

Mueller’s retirement is effective July 14. He will continue as a director through the end of his term in May 2007. Chairman of the board Howard Lester, who served as ceo from 1979 to 2001, is reappointed ceo; he will continue as chairman.

Three key promotions were announced:

- Laura Alber to president, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. from president, Pottery Barn Brands;

- Sharon McCollam adds coo to her titles of executive vp and cfo;

- Dean Miller to evp, chief supply chain officer, from senior vp, global logistics and sourcing.

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