Bed Bath & Beyond’s CEO Mark Tritton, who took the reins in early November, is shaking up his C-suite.
Five C-level executives are leaving the home goods retailer: the chief merchandising officer, the chief marketing officer, the chief digital officer, the chief legal officer and general counsel, and the chief administrative officer, the company announced yesterday. The company’s chief brand officer resigned last week.
“This is the first in a number of important steps we’re taking. Balancing our existing expertise with fresh perspectives from new, innovative leaders of change, will help us to better anticipate and support our customers in their life journeys and shopping needs,” Tritton said in a statement.
The roles of chief marketing officer and chief brand officer are being combined into chief marketing and brand officer. Interim heads were appointed to fill the positions while Bed Bath & Beyond begins its search to fill the roles, the company said.
The retailer’s shares traded up close to 5% as of mid-day today to $17.71. Yesterday, the company’s shares traded up more than 11% to close at $16.88 from Monday’s close at $15.17.
Tritton’s immediate focus is on accelerating the company’s turnaround, including improving Bed Bath & Beyond’s omni-channel experience, enhancing its merchandise assortment and reviewing its cost structure and asset base. The turnaround at Bed Bath & Beyond can’t come soon enough. In its second-quarter ended Aug. 31, the retailer saw comparable sales decline approximately 6.7%, while net sales fell about 7.3% to roughly $2.7 billion from just more than $2.9 billion for the same period a year prior.
Meanwhile, gross profit fell to nearly $730 million from close to $990 million for the same period a year prior, while it had an operating loss of about $180 million compared to an operating profit of nearly $80 million for the same period a year prior. Third-quarter results will be announced on January 8.
Many of the changes at Bed Bath & Beyond were spurred by a trio of activist investors, including Legion Partners, Macellum Capital Management and Ancora Advisors. The retailer reached a truce with the hedge funds earlier this year. It led the company to overhaul its board of directors in April and remove its CEO Steven Temares in May.
Tritton, who was previously EVP and chief merchandising officer at Target, replaced interim CEO Mary Winston effective November 4. At Target, Tritton played a key role in transforming that retailer’s omni-channel shopping experience, specifically overhauling the retailer’s private brand business. Under his helm, Target unveiled its own electronics brand Heyday, teen women’s clothing and accessories line Wild Fable, and men’s clothing brand Original Use. He also has experience in merchandising, design, manufacturing, marketing and distribution and has held roles at Nordstrom, Timberland and Nike.