Goodman will oversee all aspects of the business, which is owned by Sun Capital Partners Inc., along with other investors. He was most recently president and general manager of Levi's Dockers brand, a staple in Mervyns' men's department.
"John has the credentials to take us to the next level," said Thomas Taylor, the retailer's chairman. "His success at the mid- and upper-retail tiers makes us very confident we have the right leader in place to reposition the company."
Goodman takes over from Chuck Kurth, executive vice president and interim ceo on April 7. Kurth, who will take on the mantle of chief administrative and financial officer, occupied the corner office since December, when Rick Leto resigned. Kurth will oversee the retailer's human resources, legal, information technology and finance departments.
Prior to working at Levi Strauss, Goodman managed Kmart Holding Corp.'s apparel and home business as senior vice president and chief apparel and home officer. He also held various positions at Gap Inc. and began his career in the Bloomingdale's executive training program.
Sun, which recently snatched up Kellwood Co. and also owns ShopKo, bought Mervyns in September 2004 with the help of Cerberus Capital Management and Lubert-Adler and Klaff Partners LP.
At that time, the company operated 257 stores across 13 states, but the new owners have cut the retailer down to a much-slimmer 175 doors in seven states.