Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.’s CEO Steven Temares has stepped down from his role. Recent board member Mary Winston is taking his place on an interim basis as the home goods retailer searches for a replacement. Winston has held several retail positions, including chief financial officer at Family Dollar Stores and Scholastic. Winston also is president of financial and board governance consulting firm WinsCo Enterprises.
Temares’ departure means the activist investor group got some of what it wanted. Macellum Capital Management, Legion Partners Asset Management and Ancora Advisors have been pushing for him to go, saying he was at the frontline of the company’s stagnant sales.
“Bed Bath & Beyond appears to be in a place today where many other traditional retailers have been in recent years: facing increased competitive pressure from online retailers and discounters and unable to match them in price,” says Kathy Perrotte, managing director and co-founder of pricing optimization company ActiveViam.
“We asked on several occasions for their suggestions and ideas for improving the company’s business but they did not provide any,” Bed Bath & Beyond said in a press release. “Instead they chose to publicly attack the company and provide their intent to nominate directors to take over the full board.”
The investor group has been outspoken in its criticism of Bed Bath & Beyond’s performance. A recent report from the group included a 100-day plan to fix problems, including the CEO’s “excessive” pay. Representatives for the group didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment to Bloomberg.
Despite investor complaints, Bed Bath & Beyond grew its online sales an Internet Retailer-estimated 18.0% in 2018 over 2017, according to Top500Guide.com.
Bed Bath & Beyond is No. 68 in the recently released Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000.
In other ecommerce news:
- Apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (No. 71) has eliminated the chief operating officer role. Its current chief operating officer, Joanne Crevoiserat, will leave the company in the near future. “Based on the progress of our company-wide transformation initiatives, and the continuing focus on driving additional agility and efficiency throughout the business, we have decided to eliminate the COO role,” says CEO Fran Horowitz.
- Furniture subscription service Feather has raised $12 million in a Series A funding round, bringing its total funding to $15.4 million, according to Crunchbase. The series was led by Spark Capital with participation from Kleiner Perkins, Bain Capital Ventures, Y Combinator, PJC and Fuel Capital, among others. Feather plans to use the funding to beef up logistics and add more staff. In addition, Feather also has expanded its services beyond New York and San Francisco to include Los Angeles and Orange County, California.
- PVH Corp., which owns brands such as Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger and is ranked No. 74 in the Top 1000, has appointed Marie Gulin-Merle to fill its newly created role of global chief digital officer. This is in addition to her current role as chief marketing officer for Calvin Klein that she’s held for more than a year. Gulin-Merle’s additional responsibilities will include leveraging consumer insights and data capabilities and investing and evolving its technology. “We believe this newly created role will fuel our transformation, enable us to react strategically to new disruptions and position PVH as a leader while building competitive advantages,” says Mike Shaffer, PVH’s chief operating and financial officer.
- Supply chain commerce services company TrueCommerce has acquired ecUtopia, a cloud-based supply chain platform for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will help the company reach other industries, such as home furnishings and apparel. “Our global growth strategy is founded on increasing the breadth and depth of the services that we offer to our commerce network community,” says Mike Cornell, CEO of TrueCommerce. “The addition of ecUtopia and their unique solution for a variety of industries, in particular home furnishings and apparel, increases the value we add for our customers and allows us to create vertical depth to enhance our competitive position.”
- Performance marketing company Fluent has hired Dan Hall as its first-ever chief technology officer to support the company’s ongoing product development. Hall was most recently chief technology officer of data and marketing solutions provider at Infogroup.
- Cloud automation and storefront hosting company Webscale has raised $14 million in a Series B funding round, led by Mohr Davidow Ventures, with participation from Benhamou Global Ventures and Grotech Ventures. This brings its total funding to $32.3 million, according to Crunchbase. Webscale plans to use the new funding round to further accelerate growth, international expansion and dip into new channels. The company says it has had 100% year-over-year growth and names shoe brand Puma, apparel brand Tommy Hilfiger and brand manufacturer Unliver as some of its customers.
- Digital marketing agency Elite SEM is rebranding as Tinuiti. The company says the change is the result of 40% organic growth and its acquisitions last year, including social marketing agency OrionCKB, email marketing and creative agency Email Aptitude and Amazon-focused ecommerce agency CPC Strategy. The name Tinuiti derives from a combination of “acuity,” “ingenuity” and “continuity,” the company says. Some of its retail clients include Birchbox Inc. (No. 209), The Honest Company Inc. (No. 135) and Etsy Inc.
Bloomberg contributed to this report.Favorite