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Christopher & Banks appoints LuAnn Via as President & CEO
Oct '12
Christopher & Banks Corporation, a specialty women's apparel retailer, announced that it has completed the search, commenced in February 2012, for a successor to Chief Executive Officer Joel Waller.

The Company's Board of Directors ("Board") has elected LuAnn Via as the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of its Board effective upon her first day of employment, which is anticipated to be November 26, 2012. As previously announced by the Company, Mr. Waller will continue in a consulting capacity through June 30, 2013, in order to ensure a smooth transition.

Paul Snyder, Chair of the Board of Directors and a member of the CEO search committee, indicated that, "LuAnn is an exceptional choice for this position and I am confident that she will provide excellent leadership for Christopher & Banks as we continue to execute on the turnaround strategy started by Joel Waller. Ms. Via's extensive merchandise and product development experience in multiple retail channels in addition to her strong executive and personal qualities were key factors in the Board's decision to hire her. She brings a unique combination of merchandise experience, customer focus, drive and a passion for retail that makes her an ideal CEO to lead the Company."

Ms. Via said, "I am very excited to be joining Christopher & Banks and working with the management team and the entire organization to build upon the current strategy and return the Company to profitability. I look forward to leveraging the Company's brand strengths to deliver improved sales and earnings results for the Company's shareholders."

Mr. Snyder indicated on behalf of the Board, "We cannot thank Joel enough for his many contributions as President and Chief Executive Officer. He stepped into a very difficult situation and swiftly moved the Company in the right direction. We were very fortunate to have had his leadership during this critical time and we are pleased that Joel will continue with Christopher & Banks as a consultant through June 30, 2013."

Mr. Waller said, "I want to thank the Board for the opportunity to serve as the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer and am very pleased with the progress that the current management team and I were able to achieve thus far. I look forward to working with LuAnn to ensure a smooth transition and the continuation of the Company's current turnaround on its path to profitability."

From July 2008 until earlier this month, Ms. Via served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Payless ShoeSource, Inc., a subsidiary of Collective Brands, Inc., which recently was acquired. At Payless ShoeSource, Ms. Via was responsible for approximately $2.4 billion in annual revenues at 4,000 stores in 30 countries across four continents with more than 26,000 employees worldwide.

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