Chutes & Ladders: RadioShack CFO John Feray steps down; Brookstone President and CEO James Speltz resigns

Welcome to this week's Chutes & Ladders, our roundup of hirings and firings throughout the industry. Please send the good wordor the badfrom your shop to Laura Heller at [email protected] and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

 

> RadioShack announced Sept. 15 that CFO John Feray has resigned from his post at the company after less than a year, citing personal reasons. RadioShack has reported 10 consecutive quarterly net losses, portending a filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a potential sale, or a third-party investment aimed at alleviating the company's ills. Feray will be replaced temporarily by Holly Etlin, managing director of AlixPartners and longtime RadioShack advisor. Etlin previously acted as the company's interim CFO from July 2013 to February 2014.

RadioShack shares rose after Feray's resignation, and analysts nudged Amazon with public suggestions to buy a few RadioShack stores. RadioShack's reported Q2 losses dwarfed last year's losses, with $673.8 million in revenue this year compared to $861.4 million for the same period last year. Story

> Specialty retailer Brookstone's President and CEO, James Speltz, has resigned. He will be replaced in the interim by Steve Schwartz, the company's chief merchandising officer. Speltz left the company, which has about 240 stores in malls and airports, after walking the leadership through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June, around the same time that a bankruptcy court judge approved the sale of the company to a Chinese investor group, Sailing Innovations, for $135.7 million.

Schwartz was with Brookstone for 15 years, leading the merchandising, product development and marketing teams for the company in the last three years of his tenure. Story

> Dick's Sporting Goods is in the market for a new president as incumbent Joseph Schmidt plans to retire by year-end, according to a Sept. 16 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Schmidt joined Dick's in 1990 and has occupied his position since 2009. However, Schmidt's departure isn't the only one the company will see in the coming months. John Duken, executive VP of global merchandising since 2012, plans to retire at the end of November. Schmidt has held multiple leadership roles since joining the company in 1990. Dick's will be seeking a new president and COO in the time leading up to his retirement. Report

> Mark Carges, chief technical officer at eBay, has stepped down after five years with the company to focus on family matters, according to a Sept. 11 company announcement. Carges had been on leave from the company to manage the matter, but he decided not to return to the company. EBay has hired Salesforce exec Steve Fisher as the new CTO of its marketplace business. However, the company has not specified whether Fisher will act as CTO of the entire company, or if it plans to hire someone else for that job. Press Release

> The Retail Industry Leaders Association announced the hiring of Nicholas Ahrens as VP of privacy and cybersecurity in a Sept. 11 statement. He officially joined the group on Sept. 8. Ahrens joins RILA from the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He will lead RILA's privacy and data security agenda and act as lead advocate in dealings with government relating to cybersecurity, privacy and data security. Ahrens will also oversee the continued implementation of RILA's Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Initiative, as well as the staffing of the RILA Privacy Leaders Council, which is comprised of senior-level executives from America's largest retailers. Press Release

> Gordon Brothers Group, a global advisory firm specializing in retail and consumer products, announced Sept. 18 that Kenneth Frieze will be appointed CEO, effective Oct. 1. Frieze has more than 20 years of leadership experience in restructuring, consulting, brand development, appraisal and asset disposition. He has held various roles at the firm since 2003, including a recent position as president and leadership roles overseeing the firm's brand, appraisal and business development efforts. He will succeed his father, Michael Frieze, who has led the firm since 1966. Press Release

> Build-A-Bear Workshop CFO and COO Tina Klocke has stepped down to pursue interests in the not-for-profit business sector. She will be replaced in part by Voin Todorovic, who became the company's CFO on Sept. 15. Todorovic most recently worked for Wolverine World Wide, where he acted as head of finance and operations for its Lifestyle Group, which includes brands such as Sperry Top-Sider, Hush Puppies, Keds and Stride-Rite. At Build-A-Bear he will be responsible for global finance, accounting, tax, capital management and investor relations. He will report to CEO Sharon John. Press Release

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