Content about chairman emeritus and former CEO

November 17, 2010

W. Howard Lester, chairman emeritus and former CEO of Willliams-Sonoma, died Nov. 15 from cancer at his home in Indian Wells, Calif.

San Francisco -- W. Howard Lester, chairman emeritus and former CEO of Willliams-Sonoma, died Nov. 15 from cancer at his home in Indian Wells, Calif. He was 75.

Lester purchased the company with a partner in 1978, when it generated $4 million in annual sales and had four stores. During his time as CEO, from 1978 to 2001, and later as chairman, Lester took Williams-Sonoma public and expanded it to 600 stores and more than $3.4 billion in sales, the company said yesterday in a statement.