Ed Thomas is the Chief Executive Officer, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of The Wet Seal, Inc. From February 2011 to September 2014, Mr. Thomas served as a partner in the consumer focused private investment firm KarpReilly, LLC. From October 2007 to February 2011, Mr. Thomas served as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a Member of the Board of Directors of The Wet Seal, Inc. From September 2005 to October 2007, Mr. Thomas served as President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Tilly’s, Inc., a then privately held men’s and women’s apparel retailer. Mr. Thomas also serves as Managing Partner of The Evans Thomas Company, LLC, a privately held consumer goods advisory firm, and AXIS Capital Fund I, LP, an investment fund, since 2000. Prior to that, Mr. Thomas served as President and Chief Operating Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors of The Wet Seal, Inc., from 1992 to 2000. Prior to 1992, Mr. Thomas served as President of Foxmoor Specialty Stores Corporation and Domain Home Furnishings. Mr. Thomas was a member of the Boards of Directors of D.E.I. Holdings., a publicly traded designer and marketer of consumer branded vehicle security and convenience systems, and Trans World Entertainment Corp., a publicly traded retailer of entertainment products. Mr. Thomas is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Comark, Inc., a privately held Canadian apparel retailer; and New York & Company, Inc., a publicly traded retailer of women’s apparel. Mr. Thomas holds a B.S. in Accounting from Villanova University and is also a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Massachusetts.
Interim Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Hillebrandt has served as Vice President and Corporate Controller at Wet Seal since September 2013. Previously, he served as Vice President of Finance/IT for The Territory Ahead, a multi-channel apparel retailer. Mr. Hillebrandt also previously served as Chief Financial Officer for Deckers Outdoor Corporation, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer of K2 Inc., and Chief Financial Officer of Fotoball USA, Inc. In addition, he served as Chief Financial Officer for several privately held internet and technology firms. Mr. Hillebrandt is a Certified Public Accountant and received an M.S. in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin.
Lesli R. Gilbert
Executive Vice President, Stores and Operations
Lesli R. Gilbert joined Wet Seal as Executive Vice President of Stores and Operations on June 10, 2013. She is responsible for leading our field organization and store teams, inspiring the vision and values of our Wet Seal and Arden B brands in stores and driving consistent execution.
Lesli comes to us with a breadth and depth of leadership experience in the retail sector. Most recently, she was Senior Vice President of Stores at Talbots, Inc., where she was responsible for developing the stores strategy and framework to reposition the business. Prior to Talbots, Lesli held various general management positions with responsibility for leading sales, marketing, training and customer service with T-Mobile US, Inc. and Gap Inc. Earlier in her career, she held regional and district sales manager positions with Charlotte Russe, Inc., Discovery Channel, Sunglass Hut International and The Limited.
Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer
Mr. Kubo returns to Wet Seal after having had a successful tenure with the Company from 2005 through 2011 as head of e-commerce and Chief Information Officer. During his tenure, the Company's Wet Seal e-commerce business grew to its highest sales volume in the Company's history through innovative and industry-leading social and mobile customer engagement programs. Mr. Kubo also led the Company's information technology organization and earned numerous industry awards from Oracle Retail, RIS, Etail Mobile Commerce and Information Week. Most recently, Mr. Kubo was head of product strategy at Fluid, Inc., a web development firm, and was previously Chief Product Officer at 8thBridge, Inc., a social commerce startup, until it was acquired by Fluid in April 2014. Prior to joining Wet Seal in 2005, Mr. Kubo was Chief Administrative Officer for FAO Schwarz and Chief Information Officer for FAO, Inc. and also held several executive positions in the software technology industry.
Mr. Kubo earned a bachelor's degree in systems engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, a master's degree in engineering from California State University at Fullerton and an MBA from the Peter Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University.
Ms. Lee joins Wet Seal from Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc. (Nasdaq:PSUN), a specialty retailer offering apparel, accessories and footwear to teens and young adults. Ms. Lee served as Senior Vice President/General Merchandise Manager, Women's Apparel, Accessories and Design since 2010. During her tenure, she played an integral role in the strategic repositioning and turnaround of the women's division. Prior to Pacific Sunwear, Ms. Lee spent 18 years with Urban Outfitters, Inc. (Nasdaq:URBN), a lifestyle specialty retailer. She started her career with the Company as a sales associate and held various buying and merchandising positions until being appointed General Merchandise Manager, Women's Apparel & Accessories and Urban Renewal & Design. Ms. Lee holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager, Wet Seal Division
Kim Bajrech re-joined The Wet Seal, Inc. as VP DMM Tops and Bottoms in July 2009. Prior to re-joining the Wet Seal, Kim worked as a Senior Merchandiser of two contemporary brands, Eight Sixty and P.J. Salvage in LA, Ca. from 2006-2009. The majority of her career was served at the Wet Seal, 1993 - 2005. She began as the knit top buyer and throughout the years was promoted to DMM of all categories, tops, bottoms, and accessories and later promoted to VP DMM in 1998. Kim began her career in department stores, G. Fox 1986- 1988, Hartford, Ct. and continued onto Burdines 1989-1993 as a knit top buyer in Miami, Fl.
Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager, Wet Seal Division
Debbie Shinn joined the Wet Seal Inc as VP/DMM of Accessories and Ready to Wear in July 2009.
Prior to that, Debbie worked at Kohl's in Menomonee Falls, WI as VP/DMM of Juniors from February 2008 to May 2009 and at Roxy in Huntington Beach, CA as VP/Sales Manager of Accessories from September 2006 to February 2008. Debbie worked at Pac Sun in Anaheim, CA from May 1998- July 2006 in a variety of rolls including VP/GMM of Juniors from 1998-2003, VP/GMM Young Men’s from 2003-2004, VP/GMM Accessories and Footwear and the Outlet Division 2004-2006.
Debbie began her retail career at Hecht's in Washington, DC, a division of May Company as a management trainee in June 1979, promoted to Buyer in 1982, and VP/DMM in Young Men's and Boy’s 1990-1992, and then VP/DMM of Juniors 1992-April,1998.