Steve Temares had only just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania law school two years earlier when Bed Bath went to its Beyond format in 1985, but since joining the company seven years later, he hasn’t missed a single one of its more recent achievements.
Chief executive officer of the company since 2003, Temares originally had no intention of leaving his law practice when he first talked to Bed Bath & Beyond in 1992—meeting with them six times, in fact—according to a 2002 profile in the Penn Law Journal.
“I wasn’t interested in leaving the law firm. I just went as a courtesy,” he told the Journal. “Bed Bath and Beyond was about to go public and they were looking for someone familiar with real estate to help lay out a plan for future store development.”
Now 18 years after joining the company, Temares—who favors sweaters like his mentors Warren Eisenberg and Len Feinstein and is both fiercely protective of the company culture and enormously proud of its accomplishments—is atop the single largest home superstore in the country.
And having helped open more than 1,000 stores, he has arguably lived up to that original job description quite admirably.