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APNewsBreak: LL Bean keeping it in the family

FREEPORT, Maine (AP) -- L.L. Bean's grandson Leon Gorman is retiring as company chairman after more than 50 years as chairman or CEO, but the privately held company is keeping the position in the family.

The Maine-based retailer informed employees Monday that L.L.'s great-grandson, Shawn Gorman, will be the new chairman, underscoring a commitment to family ownership.

Shawn Gorman, who served as a senior executive, told The Associated Press there's been a careful behind-the-scenes transition and that consumers shouldn't notice a change. Leon Gorman, his 78-year-old uncle, is keeping a seat on the board. Chris McCormick, the first CEO from outside the family, retains his position.

L.L. Bean, with more than $1.5 billion in annual sales, just celebrated its 100th anniversary. The family-owned company got its start in 1912 when L.L. Bean sold rubber-soled hunting boots.