Laura J. AlberClose Bio (X)
Chief Executive Officer, President, Director
A driving force in the growth of Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Laura Alber has served as the company's president and chief executive officer since 2010. In her tenure at WSI, Alber has held various leadership roles, executing effective growth strategies, strengthening brand recognition, and bolstering profits for the company's portfolio of multi-channel brands.
As the company continues to innovate, launch new businesses and expand product offerings, she has extended the WSI imprint into new categories with introductions such as Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen, PBdorm and most recently new growth opportunities — West Elm and West Elm Market, Mark and Graham, Rejuvenation and the WS Agrarian collection.
Alber considers WSI to be at the poignant intersection of superior lifestyle merchandising and state-of-the-art analytics, positioning the company to outperform competitor lifestyle brands. Through her leadership, she fosters a strong collaborative culture, which she believes is fundamental to continued growth and international expansion.
Alber believes that WSI's portfolio of global brands, paired with its collaborative and creative culture, and the focus on the customer, is positioning WSI to be "Tomorrow's Retailer."
"Our customers love their homes, and we have a singular focus on helping make them a reflection of who they are," says Alber. This commitment is evident across all WSI brands and Alber believes each brand's unique design aesthetic and price-point differentiation enable the company to address a broad spectrum of customers' personal styles, needs and life stages.
Alber received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Sandra StanglClose Bio (X)
President, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen
Sandra Stangl is the President of Pottery Barn, pottery barn kids and PBteen. She oversees merchandising, product development, inventory management, creative services, visual merchandising, brand finance and operations for all three brands.
Stangl joined Pottery Barn in July 1994. She advanced quickly in the company in merchandising and design, and was part of a small start-up team that created and launched the pottery barn kids Brand in 1999, and the PBteen Brand in 2003, making them America's premier retailers for kids' and teens' home furnishings and accessories.
In 2002, Stangl became Senior Vice President of pottery barn kids Product Development and expanded her role to include General Merchandise Manager in 2003. In 2006 she was promoted to the role of Executive Vice President, pottery barn kids and PBteen, where she oversaw product development and design, as well as brand merchandising and inventory management. In 2008, she was appointed to President, Pottery Barn, where, with her vision and distinct style of leadership, she led the iconic retailer to unprecedented success. In 2013 she assumed responsibility for the pottery barn kids and PBteen brands.
In 2010, Stangl's strong belief that everyone deserves a safe and dignified place to call home resulted in the creation of Pottery Barn's first cause-related platform, Give A Little. The mission of Give A Little is to enhance the quality of lives for families that are in need in communities where we have a business presence. Since its inception in 2010, Give A Little has made grants exceeding $450k to 22 shelters across the U.S., including three in the San Francisco Bay Area. Additionally, the brand has donated product and expertise to create comfortable, casual facilities for Larkin Street Youth Services and has executed large-scale makeover projects at four of the organization's youth shelters.
In 2013, pottery barn kids launched a partnership with the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, which creates "Bright Spaces" in homeless shelters and other environments where families are in crisis, needs are great and resources are few.
Stangl graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Julie P. WhalenClose Bio (X)
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
Julie Whalen is the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President for Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and oversees all global financial departments including controllership, corporate financial planning and analysis, tax, treasury, investor relations, risk management and internal audit and also has shared accountability of the brand finance functions.
Julie joined WSI in 2001 as a leader in the Corporate Financial Planning organization and has since progressed through positions of increasing responsibility from Vice President, Corporate Controller to Senior Vice President and Treasurer and was appointed Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President in 2012.
Julie has over 19 years of financial experience and a track record of driving financial success in a global retail environment across multiple brands and channels.
Julie began her career in public accounting with KPMG Peat Marwick.
She is a Certified Public Accountant and holds both a B.S. and a law degree from Pepperdine University.
Patrick J. Connolly
James W. Brett, Jr.
Patrick J. ConnollyClose Bio (X)
Director, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer
Pat Connolly is Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSI). Connolly joined WSI in May of 1979, and has served as a Director on the company's Board since 1983. During his tenure, he has focused on building the company's direct-to-customer business, including the growth and marketing of its portfolio of catalogs, the introduction and development of its e-commerce business and the strategic implementation of its multichannel retailing strategy.
Connolly began his tenure at WSI as Vice President of Mail Order and has held the positions of Senior Vice President, Mail Order; Executive Vice President, GM Catalog; and Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to joining WSI, Connolly held positions with Procter & Gamble and Xerox Computer Services, and he founded or co-founded three mail order companies.
Connolly has also served on the board of numerous companies and nonprofit organizations. In addition to serving as a director of Williams-Sonoma, Inc., he is currently a director of Cafepress.com. He served on the Board of the Direct Marketing Association for six years and is a frequent speaker on e-commerce and multichannel retailing.
Connolly has served on the boards of Outward Bound USA and Sacred Heart Schools Atherton, and as chair of the Management Board of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University and an M.B.A. from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.
Janet HayesClose Bio (X)
Janet Hayes is the President of the Williams-Sonoma brand. She is responsible for merchandising, product development, inventory management, creative services, visual merchandising, brand finance and operations.
Hayes joined Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSI) as a Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager in October 2007, where she led the Pottery Barn Retail division and provided critical business leadership for product, visual merchandising and inventory management. She was promoted to the role of Executive Vice President of pottery barn kids and PBteen in 2008, and in 2010 she ascended to the role of President, pottery barn kids and PBteen.
During her three years with pottery barn kids and PBteen, Hayes established a strong vision, retail leadership and operational expertise, and in March of 2013 was made President of the Williams-Sonoma brand. She is responsible for developing strategies to increase product exclusivity, introduce new products, deepen customer relationships and evolve the Williams-Sonoma brand in-store experience.
Throughout her career, Hayes has defined her skills in the areas of merchandising and business development, which has lead to several key accomplishments. During her career with Gap Inc., she played a key role in the launch of the GapBody brand. Under her leadership of both design and merchandising for Nike Inc.'s Sport Culture Collection, she built strategies to grow year-over-year sales and profit for five consecutive years.
Prior to joining WSI, Hayes accumulated more than 20 years experience in the retail industry, working with numerous high-profile consumer brands including Macy's, and American Eagle Outfitters.
Hayes currently serves on the Board of Schurman Retail Group. Her past board service includes the Board of Oregon Partnership, an organization striving to end alcohol and drug abuse and suicide among Oregon youth, from 2003 to 2005, and the Board of Zoe Intimate Apparel, between 2000 and 2001.
Hayes holds a bachelor's degree from California State University, Chico.
James W. Brett, Jr.Close Bio (X)
President, West Elm
James (Jim) Brett is the president of West Elm, overseeing all aspects of the fastest growing brand in the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio. He joined the West Elm team in early 2010.
Leading with a vision to "make it simple for people to express their personal style at home," Brett developed an influential new look and feel for the brand's products and marketing, and an innovative strategy to engage new and core customers in the stores, catalog, online and through social media. Under his leadership, West Elm has achieved significant growth in revenue and earnings, and now has more than 50 stores in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK.
In 2012, Brett oversaw the launch of West Elm Market, a collection of products in the kitchen, garden, care & repair and personal care categories, with a focus on functional design, local production, entrepreneurship and community connections. West Elm Market can be found in two stand-alone stores and shop-in-shops in West Elm stores around the country.
An advocate for global handicraft, product provenance and the scaling of small production goods, Brett has expanded West Elm's product range by collaborating with craft workers and artisan communities around the world. He led the brand's cross-channel and first of its kind partnership with Etsy.com. In 2013, he initiated the brand's Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action: a two-year, $35 million handcraft purchasing plan supplemented by a transparency pledge around the making and sourcing of those products.
Mr. Brett came to West Elm with more than 19 years of retail experience, most recently in leadership roles at Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters, Inc. As Chief Merchandising Officer, overseeing all categories of the popular lifestyle brand, he led the development of exclusive and private label products, brand collaborations and a redefined brand portfolio.
Prior to Urban Outfitters, Mr. Brett developed a passion for home goods as the Merchandise Manager for the Anthropologie Home brand, traveling extensively to source products and inspiration from around the world. He has also served in various merchandising roles with leading retailers including the J.C. Penny Corporation, Inc. and May Company Department Stores.
Mr. Brett holds a bachelor's degree from Boston University. He is active in the Dumbo Improvement District, revitalization advocacy for one of New York's earliest industrial neighborhoods, and the "It Gets Better Project," an international anti-bullying movement in support of LGBT youth.
John F. Strain
Dean A. Miller
John F. StrainClose Bio (X)
Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Technology Officer
John Strain is Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Technology Officer for Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSI). He is responsible for technology-solutions delivery and operations support for all of our brands and functions including marketing, merchandising, stores, care centers, distribution centers, e-commerce, inventory management, desktop and data centers. Strain joined WSI in July 2006 as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. He was promoted to the position of Executive Vice President in 2011 and to his current position in 2014.
Prior to joining the company, Strain served as the VP and CIO for Gap Inc.'s online division. He also served as an Executive Vice President at Fort Point Partners, and prior to that he spent three years in Japan as part of his nine years at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). He is a strong believer in the value of teamwork and empowerment. An early participant in the "dot-com" era, Strain is passionate about driving innovation, incremental learning and balanced discipline.
Strain holds a B.S. in Finance from Santa Clara University where he is also a graduate of the Retail Management Institute. He currently sits on the board of two charitable organizations, Trust Funds, Inc. and the Annika Kelly Strain Foundation.
Dean A. MillerClose Bio (X)
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Dean Miller is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSI) and oversees the company's Distribution, Logistics, and Manufacturing functions, in addition to its Customer Care Centers. Miller joined WSI in July of 2000 as Vice President, Retail Distribution and has held the positions of Senior Vice President, Global Logistics and Sourcing, and Chief Supply Chain Officer prior to ascending to his current role.
Miller is the architect behind the company's distribution and transportation strategies, which are the foundation of WSI's worldwide supply chain network. He is currently leading the company's "gold-standard" quality initiative in the furniture supply chain, which is continually improving product quality and service, while reducing customer returns, replacements and damages.
Prior to joining WSI, Miller served as Vice President and General Manager of Global Accounts for UPS Worldwide Logistics and held key managerial positions with Frito-Lay Inc. and Exel Logistics.
Miller holds bachelor's degrees in Business Administration and Political Science from Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio and an M.B.A. in Marketing and Operations/Logistics from Ohio State University.
Linda LewisClose Bio (X)
Chief Talent Officer and Executive Vice President
Linda Lewis is Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Officer at Williams-Sonoma, Inc. She is responsible for directing all human resources functions for all brands, stores, shared services, compensation and benefits, HR management information systems, talent acquisition and talent development.
Lewis is passionate about providing development and cross-functional opportunities that allow each associate to chart their own course at WSI. She encourages associates to tap into their inner talent scout to build high performing teams, and she maintains a focus on nurturing a strong and inclusive company culture.
Lewis joined the company in 1995 as the Director of Staffing, specializing in building recruitment and staffing strategies for the company during a time of tremendous growth. She was promoted to Vice President, Staffing and HR Services in 1999, overseeing employee relations, HR management programs and organization effectiveness. In 2001 she took over leadership for all aspects of Human Resources for the Williams-Sonoma brand, and in 2006 she was promoted to Vice President, Human Resources and Staffing for all brands, shared services and stores. She was promoted to Senior Vice President of Human Resources in 2007, and elevated to her current role in 2012.
Lewis has more than 25 years of management experience within the retail industry. Prior to joining WSI, she held various HR leadership positions at The Good Guys, I. Magnin and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Vicki D. McWilliams
David KingClose Bio (X)
General Counsel and Senior Vice President
David King is Senior Vice President, General Counsel at Williams-Sonoma, Inc. He oversees all of the company's corporate governance, litigation, intellectual property, employment, regulatory, marketing, and contract matters. King also manages the legal components of the company's global and business-development growth initiatives.
King joined Williams-Sonoma, Inc. in 2004 as Associate General Counsel, and was later promoted to Deputy General Counsel, handling a broad range of legal matters for the company including managing materials for the company's Board of Directors, overseeing the legal aspects of our public reporting to the Securities and Exchange Commission, and negotiating strategic transactions. He was promoted to his current role in 2011.
Prior to joining Williams-Sonoma, Inc., King spent eight years as a corporate and securities associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he represented numerous public and private companies in mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private financings and general corporate matters.
King holds a bachelor's degree from Yale University. He received his J.D. from University of California, Berkeley, where he was an editor on the California Law Review.
Vicki D. McWilliamsClose Bio (X)
Executive Vice President, Retail and Business Sales
Vicki McWilliams is Executive Vice President of Retail and Business Sales at Williams-Sonoma, Inc. She is responsible for the leadership of the Pottery Barn, pottery barn kids, PBteen, west elm and Williams-Sonoma stores, and the Business Sales team.
McWilliams joined Williams-Sonoma, Inc. in July 2007 as Senior Vice President of Pottery Barn brand stores. She was promoted to her current role in 2010.
During her career at Williams-Sonoma, Inc., McWilliams has implemented strategies that have significantly improved results, customer service and associate morale.
Prior to joining Williams-Sonoma, Inc., McWilliams served as the Executive Vice President and Regional Manager of Nordstrom. She spent nearly three decades with the company and was awarded the John. W. Nordstrom Award, Nordstrom's highest honor for outstanding achievement.
McWilliams holds a bachelor's degree in Clothing and Textiles with a minor in Finance from Washington State University.
Bud CopeClose Bio (X)
Senior Vice President, Store Development, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
Bud Cope is Senior Vice President of Store Development for Williams-Sonoma, Inc. He is responsible for the design and construction of all WSI retail stores and store concepts for all brands across continents. He also oversees all corporate facilities, as well as the company's purchasing and travel departments. Cope has nearly 30 years of retail-store design experience.
Prior to joining WSI, Cope worked in store design and construction for Fisher Development and GAP, Inc., where he helped develop numerous retail prototypes including the Banana Republic Safari stores. He joined WSI in 1987 as Construction Manager during a time of tremendous growth at the company. He ascended quickly through the organization and was promoted to his current role in 2003.
Cope's innovative approach to building and updating store formats while maintaining brand integrity, has consistently delighted and engaged customers. He is also a champion of WSI corporate culture and environmental sustainability, having spearheaded strategic investments in efficient lighting, green-building techniques, solar and fuel-cell power generation that have allowed WSI to reduce its carbon footprint and minimize electricity requirements throughout our network of stores and corporate facilities.
Marta BensonClose Bio (X)
SVP, GMM, Rejuvenation and Mark and Graham
Marta Benson is Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Rejuvenation and Mark and Graham brands at Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSI).
Benson is a merchant and marketer with more than 25 years of experience in specialty retail and direct marketing. Prior to joining WSI in 2011, she served as CEO of Gumps, having been hired by private equity in late 2006 to lead the turn-around of the 150-year-old San Francisco brand. During her tenure there she recapitalized the company, rebuilt the Direct-to-Customer division and re-invigorated the brand.
Before Gumps, Benson was part of the founding merchant team that grew Restoration Hardware from 10 to 100 stores. She launched the company's catalog and online channels, and developed the team that grew its DTC business from zero to $220M in six years. She ascended quickly, and as Senior Vice President, Merchandising & Marketing, she oversaw all aspects of the DTC business and was responsible for merchandising and brand strategy across all channels.
Since joining WSI, Benson spearheaded the company's acquisition of Portland-based lighting and house-parts brand Rejuvenation in 2011. She also incubated and developed Mark and Graham, a personalized gift-giving brand celebrating the artful mingling of typography and design, which launched in November of 2012.
Benson holds a bachelors degree in Philosophy from Wesleyan University.
Arthur TroppClose Bio (X)
Senior Vice President, Real Estate
Arthur Tropp is Senior Vice President, Real Estate for Williams-Sonoma, Inc. He is responsible for all aspects of real estate negotiation and site selection for all brands, internationally and domestically, and oversees the real estate needs of numerous corporate facilities.
Tropp began his career at WSI in 1989, working with Howard Lester to grow the retail footprint of the company. During his time at WSI, Tropp has overseen the site selection, negotiation and administration of thousands of commercial leases and other real estate transactions throughout North America, Asia, Australia and Europe.
Prior to joining WSI, Tropp was responsible for the initial retail roll-out of Sharper Image stores and the development of the company's real estate department. Before that he served as a leasing agent for what today is General Growth Properties.
Tropp began his career in real estate as a commercial broker in San Diego after earning an MBA from the University of Southern California.