Bed Bath & Beyond interim CEO to stay in post for at least a year – source

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Bed Bath & Beyond interim CEO to stay in post for at least a year - source © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at a Bed Bath & Beyond store in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., June 29, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

By Siddharth Cavale and Jessica DiNapoli

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (NASDAQ:)’s interim CEO Sue Gove will likely lead the financially struggling retailer for at least 12 months, a source familiar with the matter said, as the chain looks to bolster its business after seeing sales plummet.

The retailer, which announced a search for a new, permanent CEO in June, will not pick a new leader until well into 2023, two sources familiar with the matter said.

“It’s what people want and feel is needed,” one of the sources said.

Bed Bath & Beyond appointed Gove, who is on its board of directors and is a retail consultant, as its interim CEO in June. According to her employment agreement, Gove was hired “on an at-will basis” for a one-year term effective June 23.

Her appointment came after the firing of CEO Mark Tritton, following a sales slump and an unsuccessful move into private-label products.

Its chief financial officer, Gustavo Arnal, jumped to his death from a Tribeca skyscraper this month.

A spokesperson for Bed Bath & Beyond did not immediately return a request for comment.

Bed Bath & Beyond faces a critical holiday season where it must show its strategy to turn around its business is reversing sales losses and bringing customers back.

The big-box home goods store has gone through several months of significant upheaval as the chain, once considered a category killer, begins closing stores, cutting jobs and overhauling its merchandising strategy.

In late August, it said it secured commitments for more than $500 million in new financing and that it was in the “earliest phase” in its search for a permanent CEO.

Chewy (NYSE:) Inc co-founder Ryan Cohen, formerly Bed Bath & Beyond’s biggest shareholder, had targeted Tritton’s performance as CEO, spurring his departure. Cohen had disapproved of Tritton’s $27 million salary and “overly ambitious” strategy.

Cohen, who is also the chairman of Gamestop Corp, held 9.8% of Bed Bath & Beyond’s common stock until dumping his shares in mid-August.

Gove has been on Bed Bath & Beyond’s board of directors since 2019. She previously was the CEO of Golfsmith International, a specialty golf retailer, and chief operating officer of Zale Corporation, a mall-based jewelry retailer.

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