Now Entering Russ's World
Susan McGalla has worked her way to the top of several retail corporations, and she explains that she never had to push her ideas or feminity to get there. She simply made her point and moved forward as she was entitled. Ms. McGalla is an executive consultant and businesswoman from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She established her career as president of American Eagle Outfitters Inc. and CEO of Wet Seal Inc.
Her retail and marketing career began at Joseph Horne Company where she worked from 1986 until 1994 in several management positions. Later in 1994, Ms. Galla began as the merchandise buyer for women’s clothing at American Eagle Outfitters. This was a male-dominated company when she started, so it was a spectacular promotion when she became the president and CMO. Susan had worked in many of the management positions, and after being president of a smaller retail store to the president and CMO of the entire company.
The years she spent as president of American Eagle, Ms. McGalla launched the aerie and 77kids brands, which were tremendous successes. She established her people skills and other talents along with her unique method of management.
American Eagle had a history of being predominantly male with no women in executive positions, but this bias posed no problems for Susan who came from a family of males. It was in her DNA to hassle with the male population, and she simply took it for granted as she worked.
Her desire was for a true culture change actually occurred as she worked between the years of 200-2010 as she rose in position at American Eagle. She lived that change within the company. As a consultant for leaders in finance, she offers a unique insider’s perspective on the world of retail.