HARRISBURG, Pa. (WJZ) — Mark Butler, the founder, president and CEO of value retailer Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, died unexpectedly Sunday, the company announced Monday.
Butler, 61, founded the company in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1982. It has since grown to operate 345 stores in 25 states, including 12 in Maryland.
He died Sunday while spending the Thanksgiving holiday with his family, the company said.
“Mark was an exceptional entrepreneur, merchant, leader, philanthropist, friend and family man,” the company’s board said in a statement. “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 company named John Swygert, the executive vice president and chief operating officer, as interim president and CEO.
Butler also served as the chairman of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.