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Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Departs

Bed Bath And Beyond JHVEPhoto iStock-1392919268

US retailer Bed Bath & Beyond has announced the departure of its CEO Mark Tritton, amid disappointing sales and supply chain problems.

A press release from the company follows:

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) today announced significant changes to the Company's senior leadership to focus on reversing recent results, addressing supply chain and inventory, and strengthening its balance sheet. Sue Gove, an Independent Director on the Company's Board of Directors and Chair of the Board's Strategy Committee, has been named Interim Chief Executive Officer, replacing Mark Tritton, who has left his role as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board.

Harriet Edelman, Independent Chair of the Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Board of Directors, said: "After thorough consideration, the Board determined that it was time for a change in leadership. Our banner's heritage is built on the premise that when customers are shopping for the home, Bed Bath & Beyond is the perfect destination for unique solutions and inspiration. We must deliver that proposition for customers, drive growth, and unlock the value of the banners. Today's actions address company performance, the macroeconomic conditions under which we are operating, and the expectations of the Board on behalf of shareholders. We are committed to addressing the urgent issues that have been impacting sales, profitability, and cash flow generation. We are confident Sue brings the right combination of industry experience and knowledge of Bed Bath & Beyond's operations to lead the Company, focus our resources, and revise strategy, as appropriate."

Ms. Gove said, "We must deliver improved results. Our shareholders, Associates, customers, and partners all expect more. We are committed to providing customers with a one-stop destination to meet their needs through our assortment, experience, and services, whether online or in stores. Top-tier execution, careful management of costs, greater supply chain reliability, prudent capital spending, a stronger balance sheet, and robust digital capabilities will all be important to our success. I'm eager to start working more closely with our leaders and our Associates across all banners to make the necessary strategy adjustments and create a brighter future for Bed Bath & Beyond Inc."

Executive Changes
The Company further announced that it has named Mara Sirhal as Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer. Ms. Sirhal, who most recently served as Bed Bath & Beyond's Senior Vice President and General Manager for Harmon, as well as General Merchandise Manager of Health, Beauty & Consumables, will be responsible for driving the Company's omnichannel merchandising, planning, and Owned Brands strategies, while also retaining her position as General Manager for the Harmon retail banner. Ms. Sirhal will report directly to Ms. Gove. She replaces Joe Hartsig, who is leaving the company.

Ms. Edelman continued, "We appreciate Mark's contributions over the past two and a half years. These include launching our transformation strategy, delivering returns to shareholders through the divestiture of non-core assets, investing in technology, infrastructure and digital capabilities and introducing Owned Brands. Under his leadership, the Company navigated well through the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping our Associates, customers, and communities safe and served. Joe was also a key member of our senior leadership team and instrumental in developing and implementing our product strategy. The Board of Directors recognizes and thanks both Mark and Joe for their leadership and wish them all the best for the future."

These changes reflect the decision of the Company's thirteen independent members of the Board of Directors.

To support its work, the Board has retained Berkeley Research Group (BRG), a leading retail advisory firm, to focus on cash, inventory and balance sheet optimization. In addition, Russell Reynolds, a nationally recognized search firm, has been retained to commence a search process for the permanent Chief Executive Officer role.

Strategy Committee Update
As previously announced, the Strategy Committee of the Board has been evaluating options for buybuy BABY over the past several months. The Committee is working closely with management and strategic and financial advisors to properly assess inherent value potential. While the Committee's work continues, the analysis to-date has confirmed the potential of buybuy BABY and has identified several strategies to further increase the synergies and compelling growth potential to be unlocked within Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc. The Committee will continue its work and provide support while the Company focuses on near-term actions that primarily involve improved execution. These include focus on key offerings, recapturing the power of its registry program and an improved digital platform.

In line with the executive transition, the Strategy Committee will be reconfigured as Sue Gove steps down from her role as Chair. Effective immediately, current Committee member Andrea Weiss has assumed the role of Chair and Joshua Schechter, Chair of the Audit Committee, will join the Strategy Committee.

About Sue Gove
Ms. Gove has been an Independent Director of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. since May 2019. Throughout her tenure, Sue served two years as a member of the Audit Committee and three years as a member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance committee. In March, she was named Chair of the Board's Strategy Committee. Sue has spent more than 30 years within the retail industry serving a variety of senior financial, operating and strategic roles that included President and Chief Executive Officer of Golfsmith International Holdings and Chief Operating Officer of Zale Corporation. She has also served as a Senior Advisor for Alvarez & Marsal, a global professional services firm, from March 2017 to March 2019, where she primarily focused on advisory and turnaround for retail companies. She is the President of Excelsior Advisors, LLC, a retail consulting and advisory firm founded in August 2014.

About Mara Sirhal
Ms. Sirhal has 20 years of experience in retail, merchandising, store operations, beauty, and wellness. Prior to Bed Bath & Beyond and Harmon, she worked at Macy's Inc., most recently as Vice President and Divisional Business Manager for Licensed, Retail as a Service and Retail Diversity Strategy, and previously held a number of strategic merchandising roles at the retailer, including Vice President and Divisional Business Manager for Fragrances, Bath and Body Merchandising in the Beauty division. In this role she was responsible for buying, planning, digital and inventory management, and delivered significant growth in comp sales and market share. Prior to her current role as EVP and CMO, Ms. Sirhal was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Harmon Health and Beauty Stores, as well as General Merchandise Manager of Health, Beauty & Consumables, where she was responsible for leading all operational aspects of this value-driven business. 

Further personnel changes have also been announced: 

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBY) today announced that it has named Laura Crossen as Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Accounting Officer, and Susie A. Kim as Senior Vice President of Treasury and Investor Relations, effective immediately.

Ms. Crossen will lead Bed Bath & Beyond's team that is responsible for executing the Company's global accounting operations, financial reporting and tax functions.  She has been with Bed Bath & Beyond since 2001 and most recently served as Senior Vice President, Treasury, Tax, and Finance Transformation. Ms. Crossen will continue to report to Gustavo Arnal, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Crossen replaces John Barresi, who resigned from the company effective June 10, 2022 to pursue another opportunity.

Susie A. Kim, Vice President of Investor Relations, has been named Senior Vice President of Treasury and Investor Relations, taking over Ms. Crossen's previous treasury role. 

"We are pleased to elevate Laura and Susie, who are accomplished leaders, have deep expertise and understanding of our business, and are ideal fits for these roles," said Gustavo Arnal, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Gustavo Arnal added, "I've been impressed by Laura's leadership, financial skills and dedication to our Company. Over Laura's 20-year tenure at Bed Bath & Beyond, she has demonstrated an incredible work ethic and has been an invaluable member of our team. I'm thrilled to remain working with her in this new role and look forward to our organization continuing to benefit from her contributions. I am also pleased to have Susie play an expanded and even more pivotal role in our organization."

About Laura Crossen

Ms. Crossen has been with Bed Bath & Beyond for over 21 years serving various roles of increasing responsibility within the financial and accounting functions at the Company. Prior to joining Bed Bath & Beyond, Laura was a Senior Vice President of Finance at Delia's, a New York City based national multi-channel apparel, accessories and footwear retailer primarily marketed to teenage girls. She began her career with Ernst & Young in their audit practice and spent time as a Manger within their National Retail and Consumer Products Group.

About Susie A. Kim

Ms. Kim joined Bed Bath & Beyond in May 2021 to lead Investor Relations as the Company embarked on a multi-year, strategic transformation. Prior to joining Bed Bath & Beyond, she served as Treasurer and Vice President of Investor Relations for ABM Industries, where she was one of ABM's youngest executive officers. As Treasurer, Ms. Kim was responsible for ABM's capital structure, cash and liquidity management, and relationship management across the company's syndicate of 16 banks. Ms. Kim was also a member of the company's Culture & Inclusion Advisory Board. She began her career within equity research at Cowen and Company before accepting a finance role at Aéropostale, Inc., a mall-based specialty retailer (previously traded on the NYSE under ticker: ARO). For nine years, Ms. Kim served on the retailer's award-winning investor relations team.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. and subsidiaries (the "Company") is an omnichannel retailer that makes it easy for our customers to feel at home. The Company sells a wide assortment of merchandise in the Home, Baby, Beauty and Wellness markets. Additionally, the Company is a partner in a joint venture which operates retail stores in Mexico under the name Bed Bath & Beyond.

Source : Bed Bath & Beyond

Image : JHVEPhoto / (1392919268)

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30 June 2022

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