Bed Bath & Beyond has announced that Harriet Edelman has been named as independent chair of the board, effective immediately. Patrick Gaston has stepped down as chairman of the board and, after 13 years as a director of the company, has notified the board that he does not plan to stand for re-election at the company’s 2020 annual meeting of shareholders.

Edelman is an accomplished senior executive with over thirty years of global operating experience in consumer goods and financial services. Harriet has served on large public company boards for nearly 20 years in the US and Europe. She currently serves on the board of directors of Assurant and Brinker. Harriet is currently special advisor to the chairman of Emigrant Bank, and previously spent over 25 years at Avon Products, until 2008, rising to senior leadership positions in marketing, sales, new product development, business strategy and transformation, global supply chain, and information technology. Harriet also serves as vice chairman of the board of trustees of Bucknell University, according to a press release by Bed Bath & Beyond.

“Building on our history as the pre-eminent home retailer, we are bringing great energy and focus to reinventing Bed Bath and Beyond – to strongly connect with, inspire and serve today’s customers and how they want to shop. I am honoured and thrilled to chair this iconic company, serve our shareholders, partner with the board, the president, and the new leadership team, and help ignite growth and profitability. On behalf of my fellow board members, I wish to express our appreciation and gratitude for Gaston’s many years as a member of the board, his leadership as chairman, and his role helping our company navigate this time of change. I also want to recognise and thank our management team and associates for their extraordinary efforts to protect and serve our customers, communities, and business in this COVID-19 environment.”

“I am extremely grateful to Gaston for his stewardship and guidance since I joined the company, including his support through the COVID-19 situation. He has helped oversee substantial change in the governance, leadership and strategic direction of the business and leaves a strong legacy from which we can build. I want to congratulate Edelman on her appointment as chair of the board. She has an unparalleled passion for our business and I look forward to working constructively with her and the board as we continue to execute our vision together,” Mark Tritton, president and CEO said.

“It has been a privilege to serve this wonderful business for so many years. I am proud of our achievements together and confident that we have assembled the right team, with a clear strategy to rebuild the foundations of the business. This is an extraordinary time for our communities and I look forward to continuing my lifelong work helping businesses have a meaningful, positive impact in society. I believe in the strength of our brand and the future of Bed Bath & Beyond under the stewardship of Tritton and the leadership team. I would also like to congratulate Edelman on her well-deserved appointment as chair and to thank my fellow board members and the thousands of Bed Bath & Beyond associates for their support and inspiration over many years,” Gaston said.