Carol Meyrowitz, President and CEO
TJX Companies (125th)
Profile: Meyrowitz was born in 1954, the daughter of a New York furrier. A 29-year veteran of TJX, she has served in several key positions, including VP of TJX Companies and president of Marmaxx Group. She was appointed CEO of TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) on Jan. 28, 2007.
The Story: If you’re looking for a CEO with both substance and style, look no further than TJX’s Meyrowitz. She started her retail career as an assistant buyer for luxury retailer Saks (NYSE:SKS), where her unerring eye for quality and upscale fashion served her well.
In 1983, Meyrowitz took that highly evolved sense of design, trend-spotting talent and shrewd sense of what shoppers want to off-price retailer TJX, whose store chains include T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s and Home Goods. It was a match made in shopaholic heaven.
Meyrowitz built on TJX’s “treasure hunter” value proposition, keeping the hunt fresh with upscale, usually current-season designer merchandise for 20% to 60% off department-store prices.
When the economy tanked early in her tenure, CEO, Meyrowitz pulled off several coups.
TJX not only resisted pressure to cut back on ad buys, it used pricey television spots to educate consumers about TJX’s “brand names for low prices.” When department stores canceled their orders with designers, TJX picked them up for a bargain, sending the company’s sales up 7% in recession-ravaged 2009.
Under Meyrowitz, the company’s performance continues to beat expectations.