Laura J. Alber

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Laura J. Alber (born September 7, 1968) is an American businesswoman and currently the Director and CEO of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. since May 26, 2010, as well as its company president since July 2006. Alber previously served as President of the Pottery Barn brand, a subsidiary of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. from February 11 2002 to 2006. She was responsible for the Pottery Barn Merchandising and Pottery Barn Kids stores.[1]


After acquiring a BA in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania,[2] she spent several years with The Gap, Inc., Contempo Casuals, and as a small business owner.[2]


She joined Williams-Sonoma in 1995 as a buyer in the Pottery Barn subsidiary brand[2] and later rose to President of that division, serving in that capacity from 2002 to 2006.[3] Alber moved to the newly created role of President of Williams-Sonoma in 2006 where she continued her lead of Pottery Barn and the company's global supply chain, logistics, and Middle East expansion.[2]

In 2010 she was elected to the company's board and named as CEO, replacing retiring W. Howard Lester.[4] At that time, she was the 10th highest paid woman in U.S. business, with an estimated compensation of $13,555,412.[5] In 2011, the San Francisco Business Times named her one of the most influential women in San Francisco.[6]


She is married with three children[7] and a member of the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary's advisory board.