Hudson’s Bay executive chairman Richard Baker has been named interim CEO. Storch had led Hudson’s Bay since 2015.

Hudson’s Bay Co. CEO Jerry Storch will leave the department store chain at the end of this month to return to his consulting business.

Jerry Storch

Jerry Storch

Hudson’s Bay, No. 81 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, announced Storch’s departure on Friday afternoon and said executive chairman Richard Baker will replace Storch on an interim basis.

Storch succeeded Baker as CEO in January 2015.  Hudson’s Bay has already removed Storch’s biographical information from its website.

“The Board and I are grateful for Jerry’s contributions over the past three years, including enhancing our all-channel strategies, recruiting key talent, leading our cost cutting efforts and working to address the challenges for our banners in the fast-evolving retail environment,” Baker said in a statement.

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Prior to leading the Canadian department store chain that is the parent to Saks Fifth Avenue, Storch had spent seven years as CEO of Toys R Us Inc. (No. 38). He also spent more than a decade with Target Corp. (No. 20). Storch will return to his business and management consulting firm Storch Advisors, according to Hudson’s Bay.

Hudson’s Bay is investing heavily in digital as it works to move its online stores onto the same e-commerce platform. The retailer, which in June announced it would eliminate 2,000 jobs, also is working to centralize its digital and marketing operations. It reported last month that online sales grew by 12.7% year over year across its brands during its fiscal second quarter ended July 29. The retailer’s brands include its namesake department store chain as well as Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Gilt.com, among others.

According to Top500Guide.com, Hudson’s Bay grew its online sales to an Internet Retailer-estimated $610.4 million in 2016, up 13.5% from $537.9 million the previous year.

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