(Retail Corner Office article updated with Office Depot CEO resignation.)
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's been a game of executive musical chairs in the retail industry over the past several months.
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( BGP) to
( BGP), retailers have seen a shakeup in the ranks, with the departure of several head honchos, as well as other C-level executives.
Wet Seal, GameStop, Borders, Wal-Mart and OfficeMax are among the retailers that saw the departure of their CEO.
Over the past five years, there have been 58 changes at the top in public retail companies, according to a recent survey conducted by Herbert Mines Associates, an executive search firm.
Here's a look at recent executive moves at retailers.
announced on Oct. 25 the resignation of its chairman and chief executive, following the settlement of an SEC investigation.
Steve Odland, who last week settled improper disclosure charges with U.S. regulators, will be replaced on an interim basis by board member Neil Austrian.
Austrian was previously the president of the National Football League and CEO of Showtime/The Movie Channel.
Odland has held the CEO post since 2005, helping to lead Office Depot to a new peak profitability level, only to be followed by the recession, which resulted in an operating loss in both 2008 and 2009. He will remain at the helm until Nov. 1 and then serve as a consultant until Dec. 31.
"The significant drop in earnings since 2006, combined with certain events, has caused many in the investment community to view Mr. Odland skepitcally," J.P. Morgan analyst Christopher Horvers, wrote in a note. "While one needs to see who gets hired to make a fair comparison, on the face of it, we think his departure may remove some of this investor skepticism."
The "events" Horvers referred to include the move last week by Office Depot, Odland and a former executive to agree to pay $1 million in settle charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The group was accused of selectively conveying to analysts and institutional investors that the company wouldn't meet Wall Street estimates near the end of the its second quarter of 2007.
This resignation comes shortly after rival
signed a new chief executive. "It appears that both companies (at the very least) feel confident enough about the state of their business to look to make substantial leadership changes, which we view positively," Horvers wrote. "Moreover, this announcement is likely to add to the consolidation case for the industry."
( BGP) named a former casino executive as chief financial officer on Oct. 18.
, former executive of
Las Vegas Sands
, will replace
, who was serving as interim CFO since
resigned in August.
Bierley went on to become the CFO at
This is the latest management change since
invested $25 million in the flailing book seller in May and became the company's CEO.
was previously serving as interim CEO, and is now president of Borders Group president and chief executive of its principal unit, Borders Inc. He reports directly to LeBow.
announced the reorganization of its footwear, accessories and retail business on Oct. 14, following the departure of two heads of the division.
, formerly CEO of footwear, accessories and retail, and
, who led the company-owned retail business under Cohen, have both left the firm to pursue other interests.
As a result of the departures,
, formerly president of wholesale better footwear brands, has been appointed group president of footwear. Paterno will head up all of Jones' wholesale shoe businesses globally.
, formerly president of e-commerce, has been named president of Jones Direct Group. Offir will oversee Jones' entire portfolio of direct-to-consumer businesses, including company-owned and e-commerce retail.
Both Paterno and Offir will report to
, president and CEO of branded businesses.
J. Michael Prince
chief operating officer and vice chairman on Oct. 14. Prince comes from
, where he served as CFO of the Affiliates division.
Prior to Nike, Prince, who will assume his new roles of Nov. 15, held positions at Converse,
Prince brings "an impressive track record in the areas of finance, international infrastructure management and enterprise-wide business transformations, and has been instrumental in developing and executing strategies to support the global expansion of several lifestyle brands," Guess Chief Executive
said in a statement.
Prince will replace
, who left Guess earlier in the year to become co-CEO of privately-held
chief executive officer on Oct. 13, replacing
, who announced his retirement earlier in the year.
Saligram comes from uniform retailer Aramark, where he was president. He will take the reins on Nov. 8.
The company also announced that
has been named non-executive chairman of the board, effective Nov. 8.
"Ravi Saligram is an outsider to the industry, which, we believe, means he is less likely to have preconceived notions about industry growth and competitors," Janney Capital Markets analyst David Strasser wrote in a note. "This brings fresh perspective on various issues, including industry consolidation, product development and retail store growth across the industry."
While Saligram may not be familiar with the office-supply business, he does have a strong background in consumer products, with a history of growing brands and managing professional services operations, which will allow OfficeMax to build upon the foundation built by Duncan, Strasser wrote.
Saligram also has experience with the international sector, which could foreshadow a global future for OfficeMax, Strasser wrote.
OfficeMax also lost its chief operating officer,
, back in July, who moved on to became CEO of
Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea
( GAP). At the time, the company said Duncan would assume the responsibilities of COO and they would not be looking for a replacement.
Martin later hired
, former head of OfficeMax's U.S. retail operations, to join him at A&P.
resigned on Oct. 13, leaving the plus-size apparel retailer searching for a new leader.
Fogarty, who has only been at the helm of the company for two years, did not provide a reason for his departure.
Anthony M. Romano
, executive vice president of global sourcing and business transformation, was appointed chief operating officer to oversee day-to-day operations.
Charming Shoppes is now looking for a new CEO who has "significant retail experience," chairman Michael Goldstein said in a statement.
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executive vice president and chief marketing officer on Oct. 12, creating a new position at the company.
Cohen was previously chief marketing officer at Payless ShoeSource, a division of
, and was also an executive at
Cohen will be responsible for all marketing and visual aspects of the company brand strategy and marketing campaign. He will report directly to
, President, and he will serve on the executive committee.
( BGP)announced on Sept. 30 that its decade-long chief financial officer,
, has resigned. He will be replaced by
effective Nov. 31.
Schoewe will stay on board until Jan. 31 to help facilitate the transition.
Holley has been at Wal-Mart since 1994 serving in various positions, most recently as executive vice president, finance and treasurer. Prior he was at Tandy Corporation, which is now
Holley has been credited with helping Wal-Mart in its international push. His appointment is yet another indication of where the company is clearly headed, as it looks to emerging markets for growth.
"I think the announcement is another in a long list that adds to uncertainty on Wal-Mart as an investment medium," Wall Street Strategies analyst Brian Sozzi, wrote in a note at the time of the announcement. "Despite still being a young guy, Schoewe is 'succeeded' as a result of an early retirement. I think if you are a Wal-Mart shareholder you have to be worried about the company from an internal standpoint given the pace of change."
This is one of the many shakeups occurring at the executive level over the past several months. Of course,
took the reins of the U.S. division back in June, replacing
Shortly thereafter, chief merchandising officer
stepped down, and Simon made the decision not to fill the post. Instead, he decided to name four heads of product to adopt these responsibilities.
In the midst of turning around its marketplace business,
lost the head of the division.
The Internet retailer announced on Sept. 22 the resignation of
for "personal family reasons." Norrington will remain at eBay until March, and CEO
will run the marketplace division until a successor is named.
The resignation of Norrington has raised a level of uncertainty to the marketplace unit, whose revenue remains soft.
Still, Susquehanna analyst Marianne Wolk is doubtful Norrington's resignation points to deterioration in the core marketplace business. "The core marketplace's business has been underperforming over the last few years with lackluster results exacerbated by global macros weakness," she wrote in a note. "With the number of changes implemented on the marketplace over the first half of the year, a benign macro environment could yield improvements in the core business by the holiday season."
--Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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