Blake Nordstrom, the co-president of his family retail company Nordstrom, has died suddenly after announcing his battle with cancer just last month.
The company revealed the 58-year-old had been diagnosed with lymphoma in December but said his condition was ‘treatable’.
He had planned to ‘continue to work throughout this process as normal’ as his family’s Seattle-based company.
But on Wednesday Nordstrom said in a statement ‘it is with deep sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of Blake Nordstrom’.
Chairman Brad Smith said in a statement: ‘My heart goes out to the Nordstrom family and everyone at the company during this difficult time. Everyone who worked with Blake knew of his passion and deep commitment to employees, customers and the communities we serve.’
Blake, a lifelong employee of Nordstrom, had been co-president of the group alongside brothers Pete and Erik. They will continue as executive leaders of the company.
He worked with the Nordstrom Rack brand and was involved with the finance, technology, credit, legal and human resources departments.
The businessman had started his career in the early 1970s working in a stockroom before working his way up the company in buying and management.
He became president of Nordstrom, which has more than 350 stores and employs more than 70,000 people, in 2000 and had been on the board of directors since 2005.
The company is publicly traded, but family members still own about 30 percent of its shares.
Blake was the great-grandson of company founder John W. Nordstrom.
The Swedish immigrant opened a Seattle shoe store in 1901 that eventually became the national department store chain.