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Designer Brands outlines CEO transition plan

By Rachel Douglass


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Give-Back, Get-Back Days at DSW. Image: Designer Brands

Fashion conglomerate Designer Brands has announced a planned CEO transition process, set to come into effect April 1, 2023.

President of DSW Doug Howe has been named as the company’s new incoming CEO, succeeding Roger Rawlins, who will be stepping down from the position and exiting the group’s board of directors.

Rawlins will continue to work with the company for a 12-month period in a strategic advisor capacity to facilitate the transition.

In a release, Jay Schottenstein, executive chairman of Designer Brands’ board of directors, thanked Rawlins for his leadership, crediting him with leading the success of various expansions, including its e-commerce site and Canadian operations.

Speaking on his own appointment, Howe said: "I am focused on continuing to execute on the long-range plan the team laid out at our 2022 Investor Day to double the sales of our owned brands and maintain the sales of our national brands, all while delivering with incredible speed and quality.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the leadership team, the board, and our associates to further our strategy and grow even stronger as an organisation."

Howe boasts over 30 years of experience in the retail industry, with extensive background in direct-to-consumer growth, digital retail channels, department stores and mass retailers.

He joined the company in May 2022 after serving as chief merchandising officer at Kohl’s for four years.

He has also held various leadership roles in Qurate Retail Group, Gap and Walmart.

Designer Brands