• Clint Engel

Crate & Barrel CEO Diemoz is out

Doug Diemoz leaves; Otto Group director steps in

NORTHBROOK, Ill. — Crate & Barrel  CEO Doug Diemoz has left the Top 100 company after less than two years on the job, the company confirmed Monday.

Diemoz is the former RH executive now embroiled in a lawsuit — along with Crate & Barrel — over alleged stealing of trade secrets and breach of contract. Vicki Lang, a Crate & Barrel spokeswoman confirmed for the Tribune that Diemoz had left but declined to say why.

Lang told the Chicago Tribune his departure last week had nothing to do with the RH lawsuit. Lang confirmed for Furniture Today that he had left, but declined additional  comment.

The Tribune obtained an internal memo sent to employee by Neela Montgomery, an executive board member at the retailer’s parent company, the Otto Group, noting she would assume most of Diemoz’s responsibilities. She also said she would work closely with President and Chief Merchant Steve Woodward, Chief Operating Officer Mike Relich and the rest of the executive leadership team, according to the report.

Crate & Barrel named Diemoz CEO in August 2015, replacing interim CEO Adrian Mitchell — a year after former CEO Sascha Bopp had resigned.

Before this, Diemoz was chief development officer for Corte Madera, Calif.-based RH, which in February, filed suit against Diemoz, Crate & Barrel and Kimberly Ahlheim, another RH employee who had joined the retailer.

In the lawsuit RH alleged Crate lacked its own plan for growth and set out to recruit away RH senior leaders to help revitalize the business and, among other thing, develop in-store food and beverage services, something RH unveiled at its Chicago Gallery showroom in 2015.

The suit charged the retailer hired Diemoz after unsuccessfully trying to hire away other senior RH executives and that Diemoz recruited Ahlheim, RH’s former director of food and beverage, and tried for others at RH even though he had signed an agreement against soliciting employees.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

Please feel free to email or call me with all of your retail news and tips, including expansion news, successful merchandising and marketing strategies and anything else you would like to see covered by Furniture/Today.  Contact me directly at cengel@furnituretoday.com or 336-605-1129.

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