Yankee Candle releases succession plan

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Harlan M. Kent will become the next CEO of Yankee Candle on October 1. He will remain president of the company.

Kent, currently president and COO of the company, will succeed Craig W. Rydin, who will continue to serve as chairman and CEO through October 1. Rydin will then become executive chairman of the board through October 1, 2010 and a non-executive chairman thereafter.

"The appointment of Harlan Kent as CEO is being made in accordance with the company's ongoing succession planning process,” said Robin P. Selati, a member of the board of directors at Yankee Candle, in a statement. “When Craig approached us and expressed his interest in transition, the selection of Harlan was a natural next step in that process."

Kent joined Yankee Candle in 2001 as SVP, wholesale. He was promoted to his current position of president and COO in December 2005. Prior to joining Yankee Candle, Kent was SVP and GM of the wholesale division of Totes Isotoner Corp.

The company has also named Bruce L. Hartman, the current SVP, finance and chief financial officer, to the position of EVP, chief administrative officer and chief financial officer.

In other news, Yankee Candle reported that revenue for the fourth quarter January 3 totaled $264.3 million, a 7.2% decrease. Comparable retail sales decreased 7.3%.

The company incurred a net loss of $398.9 million for the fourth quarter compared with net income of $38.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2007.

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