Michaels Stores has announced the establishment of an interim office of the CEO to provide ongoing leadership and continuity for the business in the absence of current CEO John Menzer. Sharing the interim CEO duties will be Lew Klessel, managing director with Bain Capital Partners, and Charles "Chuck" Sonsteby, the company's chief administrative officer and CFO.
Klessel joined Bain Capital in 2005 and is currently serving as the operational executive responsible for the firm's investments in Michaels. Prior to joining Bain, Klessel held a variety of operating and strategy leadership positions from 1997 to 2005 at Home Depot, most recently as president of Maintenance Warehouse, a wholly owned subsidiary that distributed maintenance products to facility management customers.
Menzer suffered a stroke in April and is currently in stable condition, receiving continued medical care. He is on medical leave from the company and is expected to be out for an extended period of time. His status will be reevaluated by the board of directors on a periodic basis, according to the company announcement.
Michaels Stores is North America's largest specialty retailer of arts, crafts, framing, floral, wall decor and seasonal merchandise for the hobbyist and do-it-yourself home decorator. As of May 4, 2012, the company owned and operated 1,067 Michaels stores in 49 states and Canada, and 130 Aaron Brothers stores.