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TXJ vet is new Pier 1 chief

Fort Worth , Texas – Early this morning, embattled Pier 1 Imports announced that Alex Smith will join the company as chairman and ceo, effective Feb. 19. He will succeed Marvin Girouard, who had previously announced he would retire once a successor had been found.

Smith, who will also serve as a director on Pier 1’s board, spent much of his early career on the merchandising side of department and specialty stores.

Since 1995, Alex has served as president of TK Maxx in the United Kingdom; executive vp - international; and most recently senior executive vp - group president with The TJX Companies, Inc.

In his current TJX posting, he has been responsible for all of TJX 's international operations including T.K. Maxx, Winners and HomeSense. In addition, he is responsible for the company's European buying offices and international buying agencies.

Prior to joining T.K. Maxx, Smith held the position of managing director at Owen Owen plc. Before assuming that role, he was merchandising director for the same company. Prior to that, Smith was employed by Harvey Nichols, where he held both merchandising and store operations positions. He began his retailing career in 1973 as a buyer at Wallis.

Smith will receive an annual base salary of $1 million. His first-year bonus will range from $500,000 and $750,000, at the board's direction.

Smith is being awarded stock option grants to purchase three million shares of common stock. One million option grants will vest on the first anniversary of the date of grant. The second million will vest based on performance targets for Pier 1’s 2009 fiscal year. The final million will vest based on performance targets for the following fiscal year.

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