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Francesca's Holdings names Neill Davis as President
Jul '12
Francesca's Holdings Corporation announced that Neill P. Davis has been appointed to the newly created role of President, reporting to Chief Executive Officer John De Meritt, effective August 6, 2012. The Company also announced that at its board meeting on July 10, 2012, it plans to appoint Marie Toulantis, an 11-year veteran of Barnes & Noble, Inc., and Barnes & Noble.com, to the Board of Directors, and to accept the decision of Francesca's co-founder Kyong Gill to retire from the Company and the Board.

Mr. Davis has been a member of Francesca's Board since 2007 and has extensive leadership experience in the retail industry. He assumes the role of President following 15 years in senior executive positions at Men's Wearhouse, most recently serving as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer.

Cynthia Thomassee will report to Mr. Davis and remain Interim CFO as the Company continues its CFO search. Mr. Davis will remain a Director of Francesca's in addition to serving as President.

John De Meritt, Francesca's CEO, said, "Neill was our first outside Director and shares my vision of the future growth and profitability of Francesca's. I have wanted him to partner with me in leading our senior management team in executing that vision for some time. The addition of Neill alongside our Chief Operating Officer, Theresa Backes, and our Chief Merchandising Officer Sei Jin Alt, makes one of the strongest teams in the retail industry even stronger."

Ms. Toulantis will join Francesca's Board as an independent Director and Chair of the Board's Audit Committee. Currently, Ms. Toulantis serves as a trustee of Pace University as well as the Interim Vice President University Relations. Previously, she was CEO of Barnes & Noble.com from 2002 through 2008 after having served as COO during 2001 and 2002, CFO from 1999 through 2001, and EVP, Finance of Barnes & Noble, Inc., from 1997 through 1999. Prior to that, for 14 years she was employed at Chase Manhattan Bank where she last served as Senior Vice President in the middle market commercial banking group.

Greg Brenneman, Chairman of the Board, said, "With his tremendous retail industry experience and insights, Neill has been a valuable contributor to our Board over the past five years. Assuming this new role as President is a natural next step for him and it is the right management structure as we continue to expand to support the Company's exceptional growth. We are also delighted to welcome Marie to our Board and believe the Company will benefit significantly from her deep e-commerce, marketing, and finance experience."

Commenting on Ms. Gill's retirement from Francesca's, Mr. Brenneman said, "Kyong has wanted to retire for some time but agreed to stay until she fully transitioned her merchandising role which she has done brilliantly and seamlessly over the past two years to Sei Jin Alt, who has been CMO since June 2011. We deeply value Kyong's friendship and are grateful for her tremendous innovation, dedication, and service to the Company."

Francesca's collections is a growing specialty retailer with retail locations designed and merchandised to feel like independently owned, upscale boutiques providing customers a fun and differentiated shopping experience.

Francesca's Holdings Corporation

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