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From Home Furnishing Business

Kimbrell Resigns as Star Furniture CEO; Blumkin Named to Board

Houston-based Star Furniture said Bill Kimbrell has resigned as CEO after 12 years at the helm of the 11-store retailer.  

No reason was given for Kimbrell’s departure, but the retailer said he had resigned “to pursue other interests.”

“We are grateful to Bill for his tenure and commitment to Star Furniture over the past years,” said Star Chairman Melvyn Wolff. “We wish him well in his future business endeavors.”

Wolff said the retailer plans to hire a new CEO, but in the interim, it will be run by an executive team consisting of Bill Ward, president; Gary Gibson, executive vice president and chief financial officer; and Alan Kramer, executive vice president of merchandising. The three have a combined 101 years of experience at Star. 

“Nothing is changing in how we operate or our vision and commitment to the future,” Wolff continued. “We have strong, committed leadership at Star and will look to bringing in an experienced CEO with exceptional vision, deep retail experience and strong people skills as we continue to build Star and navigate the changes in the retail industry.”

Wolff also said that Irv Blumkin, CEO of Nebraska Furniture Mart, has joined Star’s board of directors. Star and NFM are both owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Co. 

In a statement, Blumkin emphasized the two retailers would remain independent of one another and said he is “simply lending my expertise and industry insight to a respected colleague and dear friend.”

“My focus is on the continued growth of my business, Nebraska Furniture Mart,” explained Blumkin. “I have respected Melvyn and what he has built with Star over the decades and am committed to supporting his vision. Star and Nebraska Furniture Mart, while both Berkshire Hathaway companies, will remain totally independent.”

“As I continue to reduce my time with the business, my absolute focus has and continues to be to leave Star in the strongest position in our markets and our industry,” Wolff added. “This company is in a great place to continue to serve, grow and prosper.”

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