Gary Friedman Back as Chairman and Co-CEO at Restoration Hardware

Gary Friedman (l.) and Carlos Alberini, co-CEOs at Restoration Hardware Holdings.

Less than a year after announcing he was stepping down as chairman and Carlos Alberini’s co-CEO, Gary Friedman has returned to that position at Restoration Hardware Holdings.

Friedman stepped down as chairman and co-CEO in August 2012, effective October 2012, after an internal inquiry into a relationship he had with a 26-year-old female employee, several news sources reported. The inquiry came less than three months before Restoration Hardware announced it went public.

In addition, Restoration Hardware also announced that concurrent with Friedman’s appointment, Restoration Hardware has acquired the exclusive right to develop Hierarchy, a company Friedman founded last August. Hierarchy will be rebranded as RH Atelier, and will focus on the development of luxury apparel, accessories, footwear, and jewelry, and be integrated and launched on the RH platform.

When Friedman stepped down last August, Restoration Hardware named him chairman emeritus, creator and curator.

Friedman served as Restoration hardware’s CEO from March 2012 until Alberini’s hiring in June 2010. Prior to that, Friedman held leadership positions with Williams-Sonoma and The GAP.

Alberini came to Restoration Hardware from Guess. Alberini was president and COO of Guess from December 2000 until his appointment at Restoration Hardware.

Last month, Restoration Hardware Holdings said it has a successful first quarter ended May 4. Restoration Hardware’s direct-to-customer revenues increased 38% to $142 million compared to the same quarter in 2012.

Direct-to-customer sales at Restoration Hardware made up 47% of its overall sales, according to its first-quarter earnings release.

Under Alberini’s guidance, Restoration Hardware increased both its operating income and net income in the first quarter. Restoration Hardware’s operating income increased $4.6 million from an operating loss of $0.6 million the same period last year.

Restoration hardware’s net income for the quarter increased $2.3 million from a net loss of $1.3 million the same period in 2012.

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