Restoration Hardware Announces the Resignation of Stephen Gordon, Founder and Chairman of the Board

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For those who worked for “Resto” before the public days, you’ll know what I mean. For others, I’m not quite sure.. but you might. Somewhere in that transition from private to public company I think Resto lost a lot of it’s “soul”. This press release just tells me that Stephen probably thought something too.

Even, post-Resto employment, some 7 years later, I’ll never forget the day we had the conference call announcing “we were going public”. The employees we all astir with questions like: “Should I take a loan out to buy shares?”. But, I can honestly say that I considered the buy and then remembered what happened at Office Max…

I had been working at Office Max, at a similar period in the company history. I was younger than I was at Resto (and even more inspired to make a purchase) but, never did… Being an hourly employee has it’s financial limits. In both cases, shortly after the open the stocks took their tumble.

In Resto’s case, I had heard more news too… of the Williams Sonoma CEO appointment and saw the impact on the store in ’01- ’02. More bath assortment, less gadgets and gizmos…no books…fewer employees and that feeling of something missing. It had become commiditized,McDonald’s-“ified”. In short, less than the company I found when they opened two stores in Houston, TX.

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The ’01 – ’02 version of Resto confirmed for me what I suspected, the soul was gone and now in ’05 I learn the mind has left too.

Good luck, Stephen… you’ve got quite a talent. It was good working for an authentic company when it was one.

Restoration Hardware – Investor Relations – Press Release

2 Responses

  1. Rob. I share your feelings. I started with RESTO in Dallas in 96 and left in…was it 2000…after the fiasco of the furniture sale…I had risen to mid-level mgmt (Michaels Furniture Div) and the cutbacks got me.

    Loved RESTO in the day. So proud to work there. Such great things to show customers, great service to provide. Sigh…those were the days.

    Stephen was a great wacky leader.

    Jim Warren

  2. Jim-
    So, right! It was a little wacky. I think that's what made it so great.

    Jason Camp, my DM back then, now works for Bassett Furniture.

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