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Bed Bath & Beyond CEO ousted after another dour quarter

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                A Bed Bath & Beyond sign is shown, in May 2012, in Mountain View, Calif. Bed Bath & Beyond’s CEO is out of the top post as the home goods retailer looks to fix declining sales and lure shoppers back to its stores.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A Bed Bath & Beyond sign is shown, in May 2012, in Mountain View, Calif. Bed Bath & Beyond’s CEO is out of the top post as the home goods retailer looks to fix declining sales and lure shoppers back to its stores.

The top executive at Bed Bath & Beyond’s CEO was ousted today as the home goods retailer continues to struggle to figure out what people want to buy.

Board member Sue Gove will take over as interim CEO, the company said today, replacing Mark Tritton. Bed Bath & Beyond hired Tritton in late 2019. He’d previously been the chief merchandising officer at Target where the more than 30 new brands he introduced were key in that company’s revitalization.

Tritton’s exit followed the release of the company’s first-quarter financial report today showing that sales plunged 25%.

Activist investor Ryan Cohen, the billionaire founder of the pet retailer Chewy, revealed a huge stake in Bed, Bath & Beyond this year and has pressured the company to improve sales. As part of a pact with Cohen, the company added three new directors in March and began exploring the sale of its Buybuy Baby chain.

Gove said in a prepared statement that the retailer “must deliver improved results,” and that she would address numerous issues the company must contend with.

“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,” she said.

Gove has been on the company board since May 2019. She has more than 30 years of experience in the retail industry and was CEO of Golfsmith International, as well as the chief operating officer at the jewelry chain Zales.

In March 2021, Tritton announced that Bed Bath & Beyond was going to launch a slew of new store brands to try to attract younger customers. The chain had recognized that its stores were cluttered and that it had lost customers to Target, Walmart and Macy’s.

“We were over-assorted. It was a bit of a jumble,” Tritton told The Associated Press at the time.

Bed Bath & Beyond also announced today that it hired retail advisory firm Berkeley Research Group to help with cash, inventory and balance sheet optimization. In addition, the Union, New Jersey-based chain hired search firm Russell Reynolds to assist in finding a permanent CEO.

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. slid more than 20% in early trading.

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