Hail to Lillian’s longevity

Gifts cataloger Lillian Vernon is a leader in the mail order industry, but founder Lillian Vernon Katz is a longtime leader in the business world at large. A recent issue of Business Week magazine listed the CEOs who have remained at the helm of their companies for the longest stretch, and our own princess of personalization was at the top. Lillian took the top spot at the Rye, NY-based catalog company in 1950 – a full 27 years before the last three people on the top-10 list became CEOs. Number two on the list is Leslie H. Wexner of The Limited. In 1963, Wexner became CEO of what would later become parent to the Victoria’s Secret catalog empire. Below, the complete list.

CEO Company Year became CEO Lillian Vernon, Lillian Vernon 1950 Leslie H. Wexner, The Limited 1963 Philip H. Knight Nike 1969 Warren E. Buffet Berkshire Hathaway 1970 Warren Eisenberg, Leonard Feinstein co-CEOs, Bed Bath & Beyond 1971 Charles F. Knight Emerson Electric 1973 Charles B. Wang Computer Associates Intl. 1976 Frederick W. Smith Federal Express 1977 Lawrence J. Ellison Oracle 1977 Cal Turner Jr. Dollar General 1977

Source: Standard & Poor’s Corp.

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