Susan McGalla’s Business Career
In the business world, there are many incredibly bright and talented women. Unfortunately, due to gender inequality, they often do not get the credit they so richly deserve. Susan McGalla is a woman who has distinguished herself in a world that is dominated by men. Her business acumen has set her apart from many of her contemporaries. It has allowed her to move quickly up the corporate ladder. Her accomplishments have been quite impressive, making her very respected by people working at rival companies. She has often said that there is no greater compliment in the business world than to be respected by your competition.
McGalla is most famous for her time as the American Eagle Outfitters president. While she served in this capacity, she took this company to unprecedented heights. She has a real feel for the clothing business that allowed her to steer the company in the right direction during a critical time in its history. A native of the Ohio city of East Liverpool, she had a regular middle class upbringing. McGalla admits that she had no desire to be a powerful businesswoman when she was young. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do for a career. However, she was reasonably certain it would not involve having constant boardroom meetings and making decisions about the future of huge companies.
McGalla was educated at a private college called the University of Mount Union. She enjoyed her time there very much. In many interviews over the years, McGalla often remarked about how her time at Mount Union was happy and memorable. She has managed to keep in touch with many of her former professors and classmates. She has said that the bond they share will last a lifetime. She is a member of the Board of Advisers of the school where she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and business.
McGalla began her professional career working for a large American department store chain called Horne’s. She did not waste any time showing her superiors that she had a knack for getting large assignments done quickly and efficiently. Because she was often the first to arrive and the last to leave at her office, this resulted in many frequent promotions. She continued to work for Horne’s until 1994. This was the year that Dillard’s bought the chain. She did not want to work under the new Dillard’s management, so she decided to continue her career elsewhere.
The same year she left Horne’s, McGalla decided to take a position at American Eagle Outfitters. This turned out to be a wise decision on her part. After starting as a merchandise buyer in the women’s clothing department, she later became a manager. After a series of promotions that carried her through many of the different departments of the company, McGalla was named American Eagle Outfitters’ president and chief merchandising officer. After 15 years at the company, McGalla worked extensively in the retail and investment industries as a private consultant. She found this to be a welcome change from the corporate world.