Barbara Rentler, only woman in US's '100 Most Innovative Leaders' list, has a quiet managerial style
The Ross Stores CEO broke through the corporate world to stamp her imprint on a male-dominated list.
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1. Rentler was born in 1958 and lives in New York. She joined Ross Stores in 1986 and has since worked at an array of merchandising positions. After 16 years of service, she was appointed senior vice-president and general merchandise manager in 2002. Two years later, she was elevated to chief merchandising officer.
2. In 2006, she was named executive vice-president of merchandising and was put in charge of all apparel and apparel-related products at the store. Within three years, she was rewarded for her performance by being named president.
3. In 2014, Michael Balmuth, who had been CEO for 18 years, was appointed executive chairman. In Rentler, they found someone best suited to fill the CEO’s big shoes. On June 1, 2014, Rentler became the 25th CEO of Ross Stores.
4. Colleagues and co-workers have always credited Rentler for having a quiet leadership style. They have complimented her for keeping a low profile. She gets the job done without seeking out the spotlight.
5. At the helm of retail affairs, Rentler has focused on what brings in the shoppers day after day: Mega deals on big name brands. In the three years since Rentler took over as chief executive, Ross Stores has hit annual records on revenue and profit each year, while its stocks have delivered a 95 per cent return.
6. However, Rentler has steered Ross Stores clear of e-commerce. Analysts have said it has managed to survive the e-commerce onslaught because of the “treasure hunt” experience buyers are looking for, while low prices also insulates it from competition. So even as other brands are going through what’s being termed a “retail apocalypse”, Ross has planned to open 100 new outlets this year
7. Today, the 61-year-old Rentler is worth an estimated $102 million. She owns 25,000 units of Ross Stores stock that’s worth over $43,523,730. In addition, as CEO and director, she also makes $12,249,000. But perhaps her biggest achievement is making it a $25 billion company, all at the time of the retail apocalypse.