Bed Bath & Beyond Changes Leadership at its Flagship Brand

Bed Bath & Beyond has made another change in its upper management, naming former board member John Fleming as interim brand president of its flagship nameplate, succeeding Mara Sirhal, who is leaving the company.

According to a memo sent to vendors by company CEO Sue Gove on Tuesday, March 28, the change is effective next Monday April 3. No reason is given for the change and Sirhal’s future plans were not announced.

Julie Strider, a company spokesperson, in response to an inquiry, confirmed the change and said “Mara and John, together with the Brand leadership team, will be working closely to ensure a smooth transition. We want to thank Mara for her hard work and dedication to our customers and team.”

Fleming is a long-time industry veteran and had served on BBB’s board when outside investors bought into it several years ago and led a massive change in management and its overall direction, changes that eventually contributed to the retailer’s precarious financial position today.

Fleming spent five years with Walmart, up through 2010, ending as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer after spending almost 20 years with Dayton Hudson, primarly with its then Target division. More recently he was CEO of global ecommerce for Uniqlo, the global fast fashion retail chain.

Sirhal had only been in charge of the Bed Bath & Beyond brand, reporting to Gove, since last year after joining the company the year before to lead its Harmon Beauty unit. She came from Macy’s where she spent eight years in senior positions, primarily in the women’s and beauty areas.

Bed Bath is frantically trying to turn itself around with several financial and merchandising initiatives after massive losses on its top and bottom lines over the past few years. It said it expects to announce a reverse stock split later this week that would allow it to continue to receive additional funding from an investment group that has been its lifeline keeping it out of bankruptcy for the past several weeks.

In trading Wednesday morning, BBB’s share price was basically flat although it continues to trade near its all-time low.


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