Alumni Spotlight: Terry Pillow from Corning to CEO

Terry Pillow

Terry Pillow

Mr. Terry Pillow was born in Poplar Bluff, Mo., because there was no hospital in Corning. He grew up in Corning, Ark. and followed his older sister, Dianne, to Conway to attend the State College of Arkansas, renamed the University of Central Arkansas in 1975.

While at UCA, Pillow was an active member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity and class officer. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing in 1976. He worked full time at Browning and White, a Conway men’s clothing store. Following graduation, he traveled to Dallas, made a wrong turn, and met Mr. Stanley Marcus who then selected him for a position at Neiman Marcus in their executive training program.

Pillow has achieved outstanding success in business. He has worked his way up through the ranks in the clothing industry to his most recent position as Chief Executive Officer of Tommy Bahama Group, Inc., which has more than 4,000 employees and approximately $600 million in sales revenue. He served as CEO of Tommy Bahama Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Oxford Industries Inc. from 2008 to 2016. Terry has recently celebrated retirement as CEO and advises for Oxford Industries.

Prior to that, he served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Ralph Lauren Footwear Co., Inc., a subsidiary of Reebok International Ltd. He also served as the President of Collection Clothing Corp., Senior Vice President of Reebok International Ltd. and the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Rockport Company.

Prior to joining Reebok International Ltd., he served as the President of the apparel division of Coach Leatherware, a subsidiary of Sara Lee Corporation. From 1989 to 1994, Mr. Pillow served as the President of A/X Armani Exchange, New York. He also began his tenure as the CEO of Chaps Ralph Lauren at the age of 29.

Pillow also has been very generous and supportive of the College of Business, establishing an endowment to support the College of Business in honor of his late parents, Homer and Regina Pillow. “I’m often reminded of how influential my time at UCA has been in my life and career. UCA is built on a reputation of excellence, and I’m proud to be an alumnus and to support UCA’s long tradition of commitment to educating students,” Pillow said. “UCA provided me with the foundation to be successful and truly go anywhere and accomplish anything. I want to encourage those students who are looking for a college to consider UCA. I was a young man in Corning, Arkansas and my time at UCA helped me realize that you can truly go anywhere with an education from UCA,” Pillow added. He enjoys speaking to classes and students at UCA and hopes to remain a familiar face on campus and in the College of Business.