Following dismal profit growths over the past few years, the CEO of the popular American merchandise retail store Bed Bath & Beyond has now been called to vacate his position. A group of activist investors has now put pressure on CEO Steven Temares to resign along with its demands to replace the company's entire board of directors. Bed Bath & Beyond share prices immediately reacted to the group's demands, rising by as much as 30 percent.
Legion Partners Asset Management LLC, Ancora Advisors LLC, and Macellum Advisors GP LCC all banded together to call on massive changes within the company following years of poor performance from its executives. The group, which has a combined stake of around 5 percent in the firm, also demanded a new review of its options, which included a possible sell-off of the company's non-core and underperforming brands. Reports have speculated that these non-core brands could include Cost Plus World Market and Buy Buy Baby.
When Temares first took his place as the company's new CEO in 2003, Bed Bath & Beyond had a year-on-year sales growth of over 22 percent. In the following years, that number has continued to decline. Last year, the company reported a sales growth of only around 1.1 percent. The slumping growth rate has been attributed to the company's inability to keep up with evolving consumer habits over the years. This reportedly included the lack of adoption of new digital technologies and innovative fulfillment solutions.
Bed Bath & Beyond shares have continued to fall over the last five years, losing a significant amount of its initial value. Its competitors on the other hand, which includes Home Depot and Lowe's, have all gained significant amounts of value over the same period.
According to the trio of investors, corporate mismanagement is also partly to blame for the slowing growth. The group particularly called out the company's excessive pay packages and the lack of accountability within its management. For these reasons, the group has called on a massive overhaul of the company's board. In place of the current board of directors, the trio has nominated 16 of their own candidates, which included former GAP exec Jeffery Kirwan and former Imports Inc CEO Alexander Smith.
In response to what it had called a "public attack," the company revealed that it was seeking to engage the group in renewed conversations to settle their issues. The company also reassured its other investors that it is taking steps to evolve the structure of the business to achieve long-term success.