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Ollie's founder dies unexpectedly

Ollie's Bargain Outlet

The founder, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Ollie's Bargain Outlet has died suddenly.

Mark Butler died Sunday while spending the Thanksgiving weekend with his family, said the board of directors in a news release.

Butler was 61.

"Mark was an exceptional entrepreneur, merchant, leader, philanthropist, friend and family man," said board member Richard Zannino on behalf of the entire board of directors. "From ringing the first sale in the first Ollie's store in Mechanicsburg, PA in 1982, to leading the company's highly profitable growth to 345 stores in 25 states, Mark built a successful and enduring retail concept, assembled an incredible team, created thousands of jobs and delivered millions of bargains to our customers, while delivering exceptional shareholder value along the way."

The board has named John Swygert as interim president and CEO, effective immediately. Swygert has been executive VP and COO since January 2018. Before that, he was Ollie's chief financial officer since 2004.

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