Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Mark Tritton Out as Sales Slow
Mark Tritton, who took over as CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond in late 2019 to lead a transformation amid declining store traffic, resigned from his position on Wednesday. Bed Bath & Beyond Board Director Sue Gove, who is taking over as interim CEO, said in a news release that the leadership change occurred because the company "must deliver improved results."
Harriet Edelman, the board chair, said she thought Gove could focus the company's resources and revise strategy "as appropriate."
"After thorough consideration, the board determined that it was time for a change in leadership," Edelman said. "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."
Edelman said during his tenure, Tritton launched the company's transformation strategy, delivered results to shraeholders through the divestiture of noncore assets, invested in technology, infrastructure and digital capabilities, as well as launched private-label brands. Tritton came to Bed Bath & Beyond from Target, where he served as chief merchant.
Bed Bath & Beyond also named Mara Sirhal as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. Sirhal most recently served as the company's senior vice president and general manager for Harmon Face Values, as well as general merchandise manager of health, beauty and consumables.
Total Retail's Take: BB&B's board has taken an active role in trying to reverse the retailer's declining sales figures over the last few years — the retailer reported its comparable physical store sales declined 24 percent year-over-year in the first quarter ending May 28. The board believes a leadership shakeup is an important next step in steering Bed Bath & Beyond back in the right direction to drive growth.
Edelman said the change in leadership addresses company performance, the macroeconomic conditions under which Bed Bath & Beyond has been operating, and the expectations of the board on behalf of shareholders.
Bed Bath & Beyond has been susceptible to supply chain disruptions plaguing the entire retail industry, experienced a slowdown in demand for home goods as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, and, more recently, been challenged by inflationary pressures. The retailer's attempts to launch private-label brands have for the most part fallen flat.