AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
What is the impact of the founding family on the culture of a public company?
That question came into sharp focus when Nordstrom Inc., on the heels of continuing underperforming financial results, I replaced John Whitacre, the only non-Nordstrom family member in 99 years to be chief executive officer, a job he held since 1997.
His replacement? After a national executive search firm recommended several out side candidates, the Nordstrom board, spearheaded by a group of outside directors, decided that the best choice was Blake Nordstrom. Blake is the 39-year-old great-grandson of John W. Nordstrom, a Swedish immigrant who in 1901 opened a tiny, shoe store in downtown Seattle with some of the $13,000 he made prospecting for gold in the Yukon.
Like his father, grandfather, uncles and cousins, Blake Nordstrom began working in the store as a young boy, sweeping the floor and stocking merchandise at age 13. He's worked his way up from selling shoes on the floor to president of the company's …