Bed Bath & Beyond’s CEO cleans house
On Tuesday, Bed Bath & Beyond announced the departure of six members of its executive team. The exits follow the hiring on Nov. 4 of Mark Tritton, Target’s former chief merchandising officer, as CEO.
Those leaving include the heads of merchandising, marketing, digital and legal. The embattled retailer’s chief brand officer resigned last week. Three of the executives had been at Bed Bath & Beyond for more than 20 years. Only the company’s CFO and Mr. Tritton remain on the executive team.
“This is the first in a number of important steps we’re taking,” said Mr. Tritton in a statement. “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.”
The retailer appointed interim leaders and launched a search for a permanent executive team, including a combined chief marketing and brand officer.
The moves were particularly surprising because they came eight days before Christmas, but shares of Bed Bath & Beyond climbed $1.70, or 11.2 percent, to $16.88 Tuesday on the news. Since the announcement of Mr. Tritton’s hiring on October 4, shares have catapulted about 70 percent as investors bet his hiring drives a turnaround.
At Target, Mr. Tritton launched over 30 private label brands in a two-and-a-half year period — some of which have surpassed $1 billion in sales — and helped the discounter deliver its best two-year same-store sales performance in over a decade. Prior to Target, he served as EVP president of Nordstrom’s Product Group.
Bed Bath & Beyond’s comps have declined for the past 10 quarters, attributed to heightened competition from Amazon, Wayfair, Walmart and Target.
In a note Tuesday, Cristina Fernandez, an analyst at Telsey Advisory Group, said Bed Bath & Beyond is “not an easy turnaround” given its market share losses. But she is hopeful Mr. Tritton will be able to bring in new exclusive and private label brands, add self-checkout and take other steps to improve the in-store experience, and speed online delivery to make the chain more competitive. Ms. Fernandez described the quick exec exits as “decisive and bold actions to execute a turnaround.”
- Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Announces Extensive Changes To Leadership Team – Bed Bath & Beyond
- Bed Bath & Beyond Cleans Out Its Executive Suite – Wall Street Journal
- Bed Bath & Beyond’s new CEO just laid off nearly his entire C-Suite – CNN
- Bed Bath & Beyond’s new CEO just blew up his executive circle — in the midst of the holiday season – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see more pros than cons in a fast versus slow overhaul of senior management when executing a challenging turnaround? Do you have any advice for Mr. Tritton as he assembles his team, such as hiring trusted former colleagues or those with turnaround experience?