Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW), an interactive entertainment retailer, today announced that its Founder, Maxine Clark, has announced her plan to retire as Chief Executive Bear (CEB). Ms. Clark, 63, will continue in her current position until a successor has been named and a successful transition has occurred. She will remain as a member of the Build-A-Bear Workshop Board of Directors.
The Company also announced select preliminary unaudited fourth quarter fiscal 2012 store and e-commerce sales results, as well as expectations for certain balance sheet metrics at year end.
“Creating Build-A-Bear Workshop and nurturing the Company from a fledgling start-up to a global retail brand has been one of the greatest experiences of my professional life. I have met so many wonderful people – associates and Guests – which made my decision to retire as CEB a difficult one,” stated Maxine Clark, Chief Executive Bear. “Although our business has experienced challenges over the past few years as consumers have reduced discretionary purchases, our strategic plan and key initiatives are beginning to work. I believe now is an opportune time to attract a new chief executive to take this incredible brand forward and for me to take my entrepreneurial experience and combine it with my passion to improve public education in our region in a more significant way. We have made great progress in education reform in the St. Louis area, but more is needed so that all children have the chance to achieve their dreams just as I have.”
“Maxine Clark has been the inspiration and driving force that resulted in Build-A-Bear Workshop becoming a global retail entertainment brand,” said Mary Lou Fiala, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board. “Through her vision, Build-A-Bear Workshop has achieved status as a favorite brand known to families worldwide. I am confident in our business plan. The Board is working closely with Maxine and the executive team to achieve our goals and execute our long term strategies.”