Who Is Ted English?

Ted English is an American businessman in the retail and wholesale industries. English is chair of Bob's Discount Furniture, an American furniture chain. He served as the company's chief executive officer (CEO) between 2006 and 2016. Prior to this, English headed TJX Companies as its CEO between 2000 and 2005, when he helped increase the company's sales and profits considerably, opening more than 900 new stores and employing more than 50,000 people, and led the company through several acquisitions.

English studied at Northeastern University and sits on the board of several retail companies, including Burlington.

Key Takeaways

  • Ted English is an American businessman who worked in the retail and wholesale industries.
  • English is chair and former CEO of Bob's Discount Furniture.
  • He was also the CEO of TJX Companies between 2000 and 2005.
  • English successfully navigated TJX through the 2001 economic downturn in the U.S., through merchandising and innovation.
  • English is a board member and trustee for several corporations, including Burlington.
Ted English

Investopedia / Alison Czinkota

Early Life and Education

Edmund (Ted) A. English was born in 1954 and earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from Northeastern University in 1976. He began his career as a stockroom worker at Filene's Basement before becoming a buyer for the department store.

Notable Accomplishments

After Filene's Basement, English moved over to TJX Companies (TJX), the parent company of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, to train and hire workers through the federal government's Welfare to Work program. His efforts led to TJX employing several thousand welfare recipients. English was promoted to president and CEO of TJX in 2000 based on his success with the work program.

As CEO, he focused on merchandising, innovation, predicting customer shopping habits, and directing ongoing growth. His primary management goal was to focus on customers, with the idea of gaining customers when times are difficult, and keeping them when conditions improve.

English analyzed and applied new and innovative merchandising principles to the store's operations in order to achieve this goal and to successfully navigate the company through the 2001 economic downturn. He was instrumental in leading the company's acquisitions of A.J. Wright and the Winners and HomeSense chains.

Ted English volunteered with Shackleton School, where he used his time to help students acquire leadership skills.

He took over as the CEO of Bob's Discount Furniture between November 2006 and March 2016. Under his leadership, the retail furniture chain more than doubled the number of locations nationwide and nearly tripled sales, placing it among the top fifteen retail furniture outlets in the United States. He served as interim CEO from June to November 2020 and now serves as chair of the board for the company.

Honors and Awards

Seven TJX employees died during the September 11th terrorist attacks. Ted English was recognized and honored with the Doctor of Laws degree from Framingham State University for his leadership during this time.

English has also been named Business Leader of the Year, 2003, by MetroWest Chamber of Commerce, and named one of America's Most Powerful People by Forbes in 2000.

English sits on the board of a number of major corporations along with Bob's Discount Furniture. He sits on the board of Burlington Stores (BURL) and is also a trustee for Natixis Funds.

The former executive is also a member of the advisory board of directors for the Special Olympics of Massachusetts and a member of the board of trustees of the Boston Medical Center. He was also a member of the board of trustees at Northeastern University.

What Companies Has Ted English Worked for?

Ted English has had a long career in the business landscape. The companies that he has worked for include Filene's Basement, TJX Companies, and Bob's Discount Furniture.

What Area of Business Does Ted English Focus on?

Ted English has primarily been involved in the retail and merchandising business. He has sought to understand what customers need in their shopping experience and has created strategies for attracting and keeping customers.

Is Ted English Retired?

Ted English is not retired. He sits on the board of various organizations, including Bob's Discount Furniture.

The Bottom Line

Ted English is a well-respected businessman whose leadership in a variety of companies has helped them find success, growth, and profitability. His skills have earned him positions on the board of many companies and he has received honors for his work.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Bob's Discount Furniture. "Bob’s Discount Furniture Appoints William G. (Bill) Barton as CEO."

  2. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "The TJX Companies, Inc. Announces Resignation of Ted English as Chief Executive Officer; Ben Cammarata Named Acting CEO."

  3. Reference for Business. "Ted English."

  4. Natixis. "Ted J. English."

  5. Burlington. "Board of Directors."

  6. Special Olympics Massachusetts. "Advisory Board of Directors 2021."

  7. Boston Medical Center. "Leadership."

  8. Northeastern University. "Governing Boards and Officers of Northeastern."

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