April 26, 2019 / 1:31 PM / 5 months ago

Activist investors pile on pressure for removal of Bed Bath & Beyond CEO

(Reuters) - A group of activist investors on Friday again urged Bed Bath & Beyond to replace Chief Executive Officer Steven Temares and laid out a plan including cost cuts and better inventory management to improve the retailer’s profitability.

The investor group, comprising Legion Partners Asset Management LLC, Macellum Advisors GP LLC and Ancora Advisors LLC, also said the recent company management shake-up appeared hastily constructed, with new directors lacking the experience to turn around Bed Bath & Beyond’s fortunes.

The company on Monday appointed five new independent members to its board, replacing some directors including co-founders Warren Eisenberg and Leonard Feinstein.

The investor group said its plan, which includes reassessing the household-goods chain’s expenses including its advertising budget, could drive annual earnings of $5 per share. The company reported a profit of $2.05 per share last year.

Bed Bath & Beyond has struggled to keep pace with changing consumer tastes and shopping habits over the years, even after introducing experimental store formats, investing in its decorative furnishing business and digital platforms.

In its latest results, the retailer forecast dismal first-quarter profits that raised doubts on the efficacy of its turnaround plan.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Its shares fell about 1 percent in early trading.

The group of investors, who collectively own a stake of about 5 percent in the company, first called for Temares’ ouster and the replacement of the entire board in March.

“CEO Steven Temares must be immediately replaced to avoid further destruction of shareholder value,” the group said in a statement on Friday.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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