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Jo-Ann seeks CEO

Travis Smith is stepping down as Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores’ president and CEO, effective immediately — a role he was promoted to January 31, 2010.

The board of directors is undertaking a comprehensive search to find his replacement. Until then, Jim Kerr, the company’s EVP and CFO, will serve as interim CEO of the company, while continuing in his current role. Kerr will partner with Riddi Kline, EVP of marketing and merchandising, and Tom Williams, EVP of operations and human resources, to manage the business.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Travis for the positive role he has played in contributing to the growth of Jo-Ann during his tenure at the company,” said Todd Purdy, partner, Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. Smith joined Jo-Ann in July 2006 and has served in various executive roles prior to being named CEO in August 2011.

At the time of his promotion, Smith retained responsibilities for overseeing the areas of marketing, merchandising, sourcing, inventory management, supply chain and store operations. As president and CEO, he also assumed responsibility for information technology.

“I am proud of our accomplishments at Jo-Ann,” said Smith. “Together we have expanded the reach of Jo-Ann by growing the store base, investing in omnichannel initiatives, and improving the customer experience. I wish the Company and its employees all the best as I pursue a new chapter in my career.”

Smith served as chief operating officer of Jo-Ann Stores since February 1, 2009. He joined Jo-Ann as EVP of merchandising and marketing in July 2006.