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January 28 – February 4, 2010 Edition Borders Head Departs Amid Rumblings of Debt Problems
ANN ARBOR, Mich./Authorlink News/January 26, 2010–Borders Group Board Chairman Mick McGuire today announced that Ron Marshall has resigned as President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the company, effective immediately. Marshall has accepted the role of Chief Executive Officer with another publicly held retailer, but will assist Borders in the process of transitioning to new leadership.
Only a week ago, Borders issued a statement debunking a debtwire.com article that claimed Borders has extended the length of time it takes to pay its small publisher vendors by 40%. Borders stated the article was inaccurate and that the company continues to pay vendors in a timely manner. Borders also said detwire’s assertion that the bookseller had hired the bankruptcy group of Lowenstein Sandler as legal counsel is incorrect.
This week, the company has named Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer Michael J. Edwards Interim Chief Executive Officer. Edwards, 49, is a 26-year retail veteran with CEO experience who joined Borders in September 2009 and has been leading the merchandising and marketing teams. As Interim Chief Executive Officer, Edwards will report to McGuire. In addition, the companys Board of Directors has retained Korn/Ferry International to lead the search for a permanent CEO.
Borders appreciates Rons contributions during his tenure with the company, said McGuire. In 2009, he and Chief Financial Officer Mark Bierley helped Borders make substantial operational and financial improvements that are driving increased cash flow, reducing debt and positioning Borders to pursue new growth opportunities, including recently announced partnerships to provide high-quality digital content for the industrys next generation of e-Reading devices. Mike Edwards is the right person to take on this responsibility at this time given his experiences as a CEO and proven track record of successfully repositioning and growing specialty retail businesses. Since joining Borders, he has distinguished himself as a collaborative leader with a strong commitment to revitalizing the Borders brand and a focus on driving traffic and profitable sales. We are pleased to have Mike in place along with Mark Bierley and his finance team, who continue to lead the effort of reducing expenses, improving margins and focusing on prudent capital allocation to drive cash flow.
We have a clear commitment to drive the top line at Borders Group and there will be no interruption of our strategic plans and efforts to focus with great energy and determination on this goal during the transition, said Edwards. Along with Mark Bierley and the rest of the leadership team, I look forward to continuing momentum in this direction while we remain disciplined on the bottom line, where we have made significant progress over the past several months. I am confident this will be a smooth transition and appreciate the continued support of all of our partners and associates.
Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Borders Group, Inc. is a leading specialty retailer of books as well as other educational and entertainment items. The company employs approximately 25,000 throughout the U.S., primarily in its Borders(R) and Waldenbooks(R) stores. Online shopping is offered through borders.com.
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