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Bealls taps founder’s great grandson, Matt Beall, as new CEO

Beall takes over leadership from the chain’s first non-family CEO.

Bealls, the family-owned retail chain based in Bradenton, will once again have a family member at the company helm.

The retailer announced Friday that Robert Matthews Beall III — who goes by Matt Beall — is taking over as chief executive officer after 15 years of working various jobs at the department store chain. The previous CEO, Steve Knopik, was the first non-family member to run the company. Knopik was promoted to CEO in 2006 and is now Bealls’ executive chairman.

“Matt Beall is a brilliant and decisive executive who cares deeply about our Company, our associates and our guests," Knopik said in a written statement. "The Board, the Senior Leadership Team and I have great confidence that he will guide us to even greater heights in the future.”

Beall, 40, is the great grandson of founder Robert Matthews Beall Sr. His father, Robert Beall II, was the CEO from 1980 to 2006.

Related: Bealls is going after millennials with new Bunulu store

Matt Beall studied at the University of Florida and got his MBA at Stetson University. He worked as an assistant buyer at discount retailer Ross before joining the family business in 2004.

In his time with Bealls, he has worked in nearly ever department from buying, planning and marketing to store operations and logistics. Most recently he was the company’s president.