J. Crew Group Inc., New York, announced last week that Howard Socol, former chairman and CEO of Miami-based department store chain Burdines, has been named CEO and a director. Former CEO Emily Woods will remain as chairwoman. Woods cited Socol's experience in retail as a strong advantage that would help the business grow. "Howard's years of retail experience will be a real asset to the company," she said. "I'm excited to work with him to grow the business and realize the full potential of our brand." Socol, 52, was with Burdines for 28 years, becoming president in 1981 and chairman and CEO in 1984. He retired in June. Burdines, a $1.4 billion-dollar retailer is the most profitable division of Federated Department Stores. J. Crew had sales of $830 million in 1997.