Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. shares sank 21% in early Wednesday trading after it announced not only disappointing fiscal first-quarter results, but also the ouster of its chief executive, Mark Tritton.
“After thorough consideration, the Board determined that it was time for a change in leadership,” said Harriet Edelman, independent chair of the home goods retailer’s board.
“Today’s actions address company performance, the macroeconomic conditions under which we are operating, and the expectations of the Board on behalf of shareholders. We are committed to addressing the urgent issues that have been impacting sales, profitability, and cash flow generation.”
Sue Gove, an independent director on the board since May 2019 and 30-year retail industry vet, will serve as interim CEO.
Bed Bath & Beyond continues to assess options for its BuyBuy Baby business and is focused on ways to improve the banner’s execution in the near term.
In addition to the CEO change, Mara Sirhal, most recently senior vice president and general manager for the Harmon brand, has been named chief merchandising officer. She replaces Joe Hartsig, who is leaving the company.
For the first quarter, Bed Bath & Beyond posted a net loss of $357.7 million, or $4.49 per share, after a loss of $50.9 million, or 48 cents per share, last year. Adjusted losses per share of $2.83 was wider than the FactSet consensus for a loss of $1.39.
Sales of $1.463 billion were down from $1.954 billion and missed the FactSet consensus for $1.513 billion. Comparable sales dropped 23%, deeper than the FactSet consensus for a 20.1% decline.
“In the quarter there was an acute shift in customer sentiment and, since then, pressures have materially escalated. This includes steep inflation and fluctuations in purchasing patterns, leading to significant dislocation in our sales and inventory that we will be working to actively resolve,” Gove said in an earnings release statement.
The company expects comparable sales to recover in the second half of fiscal 2022.