PORTLAND Powell s Books in Portland announced its new CEO Thursday morning.

Miriam Sontz, a 28-year-veteran employee of the iconic bookstore, moved from the role of Chief Operating Officer to Chief Executive Officer.

Emily Powell, whose grandfather started the store in 1971 and has been serving as CEO since 2010, will remain owner and focus on the stewardship of Powell s. The store will remain a family-owned business, a spokeswoman for Powell s said.

In Miriam s 28 years at Powell s she has held many roles from Beaverton store manager to co-CEO. Powell s owes much of its arc through life to Miriam to her persistent, loving dedication to Powell s, to bookselling, and to integrity. Those of you who work with Miriam will also know that she is a truly remarkable leader and mentor. I am grateful for her many contributions and thrilled that she will now take the reins as Powell s CEO, Powell said in a memo to employees last month.

Sontz was given the position as the store continues to evaluate the state of the book industry and the challenges and needs of the company.

I look forward to steering Powell's Books forward through our ever-changing book industry. We are well-positioned to continue efficiencies around operations so we can focus on our customers. Highlighting and expanding the unique experience people have when shopping at Powell's is our top priority, she said in a news release to KGW.

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