The president and Chief Merchandising Officer of American Eagle, Susan McGalla has been with the company since 1994. At this time, the teen retailer still showed a lot of its roots as a male-oriented activewear store. Before starting at American Eagle, Susan McGalla came from Joseph Horne Co. department stores. She had always felt like the management at American Eagle was passing judgment on her based on the value of the ideas that she shared. When she went on business trips, she always made sure that she was not the last person to arrive at the morning meetings.
Susan McGalla earned her title of Chief Merchandising Officer at American Eagle last May. Some of her responsibilities are being in charge of merchandising, marketing, and design. She has a very important position in a company whose clothing can be seen on teenagers all throughout the United States. When she wore jeans in October to celebrate the moving of American Eagle’s headquarters to the South Side, the Governor of the city, Ed Rendell, states that it was very rare to see a president as young as Susan McGalla.
As a child, she was taught that she was a person, not a man or a woman. Typical gender expectations were not placed on Susan McGalla. by her family. While she was growing up in the East Liverpool area of Ohio, her family supported her and taught her how to be comfortable with presenting her ideas and herself. She believes that not playing the woman card has served her very well in her career. She enjoys the fact that she can talk about shopping and sports with the same excitement and interest. When she explained this on an application for a female executive award, they asked her to provide another answer as it made them uncomfortable.