Borders Looking for a New CEO, Again
When Ron Marshall replaced
George Jones and joined Borders as its CEO last January, some were not keen
on the change of management.
David Schick of Stifel Nicolaus & Co.
wrote at the time, “We believe such powerful macroeconomic factors are at
work that a management change could confuse the key constituents (vendors)
and cause incremental friction in the model. Borders has seen too much change
in three years, in our view.”
Change, however, is in store for Borders again. Mr. Marshall has
chosen to leave the chain to join another retailer (reportedly A&P).
Mr. Marshall who came to
Borders billing himself as a “turnaround expert” clearly failed to do that
at the bookstore chain despite it being “a powerful brand with millions of
loyal customers who love to shop in the stores.” The chain’s same-store sales
declined 14.6 percent for the recent holiday period.
Michael Norris, senior trade
analyst at Simba Information, told The Associated Press, “Ron never
answered the question that I had since he took over year ago, ‘Why should
I shop at Borders?’ Improving the cash flow by itself doesn’t do much to
improve customer flow.”
The choice of a new CEO “needs
to make the Borders brand really mean something,” Mr. Norris said. “You have
to give consumers a compelling reason to go to the stores when consumers
can literally pull out a smart phone and access any content they want.”
CMO Michael Edwards will serve as interim
CEO of the company while it conducts a search for a permanent replacement
for Mr. Marshall.
“We have a clear commitment to drive the top line at Borders Group and there
will be no interruption of our strategic plans and efforts to focus with great
energy and determination on this goal during the transition,” said Mr. Edwards
in a press release. “I look forward to continuing momentum in this direction
while we remain disciplined on the bottom line, where we have made significant
progress over the past several months. I am confident this will be a smooth transition
and appreciate the continued support of all of our partners and associates.”
Norris sees Mr. Edwards as a positive change from Mr. Marshall.
going from a guy who ate spreadsheets for breakfast, lunch and dinner to
someone well versed in creating branding initiatives,” he told the AP.
Question: What is your assessment of Borders at present and what do you
expect to happen at the chain with the latest change in leadership? Do
you have any recommendations for the new management?
- Borders Group Announces Departure of CEO Ron Marshall; Chief Merchandising
Officer Mike Edwards Named Interim CEO – Borders Group/PRNewswire via COMTEX
- Borders Chief Marshall
Quits After Year, Said to Take A&P Job – Bloomberg/BusinessWeek
- Borders Group CEO Marshall
leaves for another job – The Associated Press/Yahoo!
- Borders Group Announces
Management Changes Including New CEO; Holiday Sales Results Also Reported
– Borders Group/PRNewswire-FirstCall