Q&A with Bruce Besanko, Kohl’s Chief Financial Officer


Bruce Besanko joins Kohl’s as Chief Financial Officer

Bruce Besanko recently joined Kohl’s senior leadership as chief financial officer. As CFO, Bruce will oversee Kohl’s financial planning and analysis, investor relations, financial reporting, accounting operations, tax, treasury, non-merchandise purchasing, credit and capital investment strategies. Read on to learn more about Bruce.

You’ve had more than 2​0 years of financial leadership experience in retail. What brought you to Kohl’s?
I’m happy to return to a pure play retailer and Kohl’s is one of the very best. It was clear to me, even before joining Kohl’s, that the company’s leaders are talented, seasoned individuals with many years of retailing experience. Becoming part of this team provides a great opportunity to further build on a compelling set of competitive advantages – a great store base, principally off mall; a nice mix of private, exclusive and national brands; a strong balance sheet and cash flow that permits continued investments in the business, stores and our omnichannel experience; a great credit card operation; excellent procurement processes; and the right strategies and focus areas.

Kohl's sets itself apart by its Winning Teams of engaged associates. What does it mean to you to be part of the Kohl's team?
I’m delighted to be a part of the Kohl’s team. Throughout my career, I’ve always valued a culture of teamwork and collaboration, so Kohl’s is a natural fit. I’ve already been impressed by the caliber of talent and teamwork across the organization.

​What are some leadership lessons you've learned in your career?
I’ve learned a lot of lessons in my career – both from successes and from mistakes. Those experiences allow me to adapt to many different circumstances and business challenges. And while I depend on my experiences to help me lead, one of the most valuable components of my leadership approach is to listen and learn from others.

What do you think of Kohl’s financial position?
The team has done an extraordinary job of maintaining a really strong balance sheet and building a capital structure that supports the business strategies. My predecessor and the Kohl’s teams have done a great job on capital allocation and I look forward to building on the company’s strength.

​What do you personally think makes Kohl's positioned for success?​
First and foremost, the Kohl’s customer. There is a great sense of love and pride for Kohl’s expressed by its loyal shoppers. This creates an invaluable base of support for the company to evolve with the changing industry. I’ve also spent a great deal of my time with Kohl’s so far digging into the business strategy. I strongly support the company’s approach to invest in our stores and e-commerce to be a best-in-class omnichannel retailer.

Read Bruce’s announcement on Kohl’s press room.