PRESIDENT AND CEO
On November 3, 2015, Stephen Smith was named the fourth President and CEO of L.L.Bean. Steve began his career in 1992 at J. Walter Thompson in New York City. He moved to Maine in 1997 and rose to become the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Resort Sports Network. In 2002, he began his retail career at Hannaford Supermarket and this launched nine years at the Delhaize Group where he gained experience in merchandising, commercial planning, marketing and customer relationship management in the US and Belgium.
In 2011, Steve joined Walmart International as SVP and General Manager of Sam’s Club and Chief Marketing Officer for Walmart China in Shenzhen, China. There he gained general management responsibility, integrating e-commerce into the core business and improving annual sales growth. A year later, Steve became Chief Customer Officer of ASDA (part of Walmart International), a $30+ billion food, fashion and general merchandise omnichannel business in the United Kingdom. In 2015, Steve became Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer for Yihaodian (part of Walmart Global Ecommerce), a pure e-commerce business located in Shanghai.
Steve is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania where he studied Art History and Physics. He grew up in Westchester County, New York and Amherst, Massachusetts. He spent summers on Canada Lake in the Adirondacks at a lake house that has been in his family for generations.
Steve is very active in outdoor sports and enjoys a wide variety of activities. He and his family are excited to be returning to Maine where they have deep ties and where they can embrace their love of the outdoors and commitment to community.
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
Shawn Gorman, great-grandson of company founder L.L. Bean, was appointed Chairman of the Board of L.L.Bean in May of 2013. He succeeded his uncle, Leon Gorman, who served as President and Chairman of the Board for more than four decades.
Shawn’s L.L.Bean career began in 1991, when he joined the company’s Marketing department as an Advertising Analyst. He took on his first leadership role as Assistant Manager of Marketing Operations, and a year later was promoted to Manager of International Customer Operations, where he helped to shape how our international customers experienced the L.L.Bean brand. From International, Shawn moved to L.L.Bean’s newly formed E-Commerce division as Manager of Marketing and Customer Management. In this role, Shawn introduced the company to online and email marketing as L.L.Bean began to transition from catalog to internet sales and marketing.
In 2002, Shawn joined Partnership Marketing, where he had responsibility for leading L.L.Bean’s co-branded marketing programs including the credit card division, which today remains one of the most successful co-branded card programs in the country. Shawn was named Vice President of Card Services and Direct to Business (D2B) in 2008, overseeing the launch of D2B’s first e-commerce site in the same year. Prior to becoming Chairman of the Board, Shawn served as Senior Vice President of Brand Communications, and is credited with integrating L.L.Bean’s brand strategies across its mail, web and retail channels to ensure consistency and customer focus.
Shawn was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and grew up in Exeter, New Hampshire. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, with a degree in English. Shawn has also completed executive programs at the Wharton School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management.
He is active in a variety of community affairs, including serving as Vice Chair of the United Way of Greater Portland Board of Directors. Shawn also chairs the Board of the John T. Gorman Foundation, a charitable organization established by his late uncle, Tom Gorman, that donates millions of dollars each year to Maine-based community programs and projects. He is a former trustee with the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School and is an active member and contributor to several outdoor- and conservation-oriented nonprofits.
Shawn is an outdoors enthusiast, whose love of the outdoors was instilled in him at a very early age. As his great-grandfather L.L. believed, Shawn also believes that time spent in the outdoors adds both quality and quantity to one’s life. Today, he shares this love of the outdoors with his own family, ensuring that L.L.’s passion and commitment to the outdoors continues.
Christopher J. McCormick
PRESIDENT AND CEO (2001-2015)
Chris McCormick grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut, one of six sons of an entrepreneurial father. In 1977, after graduating from Fairfield University, he began his career in marketing.
Drawn to L.L.Bean because it was family owned and built on a love of the outdoors, Mr. McCormick became our Assistant Advertising Manager in 1983. He then rose to Vice President of Advertising and Direct Marketing, and Chief Marketing Officer. Under Chris’s leadership, L.L.Bean emerged as an industry leader in brand management, customer loyalty and marketing database systems.
In May 2001, upon Leon Gorman’s move to Chairman of the Board, Chris became the first nonfamily member to take on the title of President and CEO at L.L.Bean, Inc. In 2015, after 14 years of successfully growing the business during uncertain economic times, he announced his retirement.
Chris completed Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program in 2000, and remains active in industry trade associations. His civic associations include currently serving on the Board of Trustees of the Maine Community College System and membership on Fairfield University’s Advisory Board. He formerly served as Co-Chair of the Nature Conservancy’s Corporate Conservation Council, as a board member of The Nature Conservancy, and a member of the campaign cabinet for the United Way of Greater Portland.
Mr. McCormick is an avid outdoorsman and takes every opportunity to test L.L.Bean equipment in the field. Among his favorite outdoor activities are hiking, biking and shooting.
Leon A. Gorman
PRESIDENT AND CEO (1967-2001)
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD (2001-2013)
CHAIRMAN EMERITUS (2013-2015)
Leon A. Gorman was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, in 1934, and was raised in Yarmouth, Maine. He graduated from Bowdoin College and spent four years in the Navy before joining L.L.Bean, Inc., in 1961. He was appointed president of the company in 1967, following the death of his grandfather, L.L. Bean, who founded the company in 1912.
Soon after becoming president, Leon introduced the “stakeholder concept,” which clearly linked L.L.Bean’s success as a business to key stakeholders – customers, employees, shareholders, vendors, communities and the natural environment. In his 30 years as president, Leon Gorman led L.L.Bean from a $4.75 million catalog company to an over-one-billion-dollar multichannel enterprise, firmly establishing the brand as a leader in the outdoors industry.
An outdoors enthusiast, Leon tested the company's products while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, skiing Colorado's 10th Mountain Division Trail, cycling through New Zealand and ascending to Camp Three during the 1990 Mount Everest International Peace Climb.
Leon played a significant role in the conservation community. He and his wife, Lisa, played a lead role in The Nature Conservancy’s St. John River Project, the Appalachian Mountain Club’s capital campaign and fundraising efforts by the Student Conservation Association.
Leon was a leader in public policy discussions about Maine’s economy through his involvement in state organizations and initiatives. He was active in and received numerous awards from various national and state civic and philanthropic organizations. He also received the Presidential Award from the Portland, Maine, chapter of the NAACP.
Leon was selected to receive L.L.Bean's highest internal honor, the Bean's Best award, in 2001. In 2006, he wrote a book about his four decades of experience, entitled L.L.Bean: The Making of an American Icon.
In 2010, Leon received Bowdoin College's highest honor, the Bowdoin Prize Award, which recognizes a distinctive contribution in a field of human endeavor, noting his distinguished career as a business leader, conservationist and philanthropist.
Leon Leonwood Bean
One of Wall Street Journal’s Top Ten Entrepreneurs of the 20th century, L.L. Bean was an innovator in the mail-order catalog industry. Born Leon Leonwood Bean on October 13, 1872, in Greenwood, Maine, he was the fourth of six children. In 1884, Leon’s parents died within four days of each other. Orphaned, the three youngest Bean children went to live with friends of the family.
At 13, L.L. went on his first hunting trip. The pleasure he gained from his time in the woods lasted a lifetime. After attending Kent’s Hill Commercial College, he moved to Yarmouth, Maine, and worked as a clerk in his brother Otho’s shoe store. In 1895, Otho opened a second store in Freeport, Maine, called Bean Bros. and hired L.L. to manage it. In 1898, L.L. married Bertha Porter of Freeport and started a family. He fathered three children – Lester, Charles and Barbara.
Still an avid outdoorsman, L.L. hunted and fished at every opportunity. At that time no adequate footwear was available to keep a hunter’s feet dry and warm in the cold, wet woods of Maine. In 1911, L.L asked a cobbler to sew a rugged leather upper to a waterproof rubber bottom, and the Maine Hunting Shoe® was born. L.L. became a pioneer of direct marketing by selling his new boot through the mail and at his retail store.
With the growing success of the Maine Hunting Shoe, L.L. began to develop rugged, comfortable clothing to wear in the outdoors. The fact that he was an outdoorsman who not only developed and tested his products, but also guaranteed them to be 100% satisfactory in every way, established him as one of the most respected names in the business.
By the 1930s, L.L.Bean carried clothing and equipment for a variety of outdoor pursuits. His original flyer had become a catalog mailed twice a year. With the growth of his business, his reputation for selling quality products at a good value became well known.
L.L. Bean ran his company until his death at the age of 94 on February 5, 1967. He attributed his long life and good health to the time he spent in the outdoors.