The Board has formed a CEO search committee to identify a permanent CEO and will retain an executive search firm to assist in the search process. The Board's search process will focus on individuals who have transformation and innovation experience in the retail sector.
In addition, the board appointed Andrea Weiss, a long-time retail executive who also recently joined the Bed Bath & Beyond Board, as Chair of the Business Transformation and Strategy Review Committee, which will be responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the Company's ongoing business transformation are addressed. Ms. Weiss and the Committee will work closely alongside Ms. Winston in her role as Interim CEO and the other members of the leadership team to identify opportunities for rapid performance improvement of both short- and long-term results.
Patrick Gaston, Independent Chairman of the Bed Bath & Beyond Board, stated, "Bed Bath & Beyond has a significant opportunity to drive value creation by building on its great brands and strong customer affinity. As the Company continues its efforts to improve its financial performance and enhance its competitive position, the Board determined that now is the right time to identify the next generation of leadership. We are fortunate to have someone of Mary's caliber to serve as Interim CEO while the Board conducts a search for a permanent successor, and are confident in her ability to lead the Company forward during this transition period."
Ms. Winston said, "This is an important time for Bed Bath & Beyond and we are committed to being the leading omnichannel retailer of choice for the home and heart-felt life events. Together with the Board, including the members of the Business Transformation and Strategy Review Committee, the leadership team and our more than 60,000 associates, I look forward to building an even stronger future for Bed Bath & Beyond. As we continue to review our business initiatives, we will be focused on driving continued margin improvement, enhancing the in-store and online experience, and accelerating our transformation to the benefit of our shareholders, customers and other stakeholders."
Mr. Gaston added, "During Steven's tenure as CEO, Bed Bath & Beyond has grown into an iconic omnichannel retailer with a strong portfolio of brands, more than 1,500 stores and an expanding digital presence. On behalf of the Board, I thank him for his unwavering commitment and tireless service, and wish him the best. We also extend our continued appreciation to the entire leadership team and to all of our associates for their unceasing focus on transforming Bed Bath & Beyond and executing on our priorities."
Mr. Temares said, "It has been a privilege to serve with my fellow associates for these past twenty seven years. It has always been, and will always be, about our people. There are truly no words to adequately express my gratitude to them and I will miss them immensely. I continue to trust in them and look forward to great accomplishments in the years to come."
On May 1, 2019, five new independent directors joined the Bed Bath & Beyond Board. This follows the appointment of two new independent directors in 2018, and one new independent director in 2017, with a total of eight new independent directors having recently joined the Board. Upon the completion of the leadership transition announced today, Bed Bath & Beyond's Board will consist of nine members, eight of whom are independent.
About Mary Winston
Ms. Winston is a seasoned executive with significant governance expertise across a broad range of industries, having served on large public company boards and audit committees for many years. She has a strong background in all aspects of finance and accounting, as well as experience in M&A, corporate strategy, cost restructuring programs, corporate governance/compliance, and investor relations/communications. Among other roles, she has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Family Dollar Stores Inc., Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Giant Eagle, Inc., Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Scholastic Corporation, Vice President and Controller of Visteon Corporation and Vice President, Global Financial Operations at Pfizer Inc. in the Pharmaceuticals Group. She started her career as a CPA and auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co. Ms. Winston is a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Board Governance Fellow. She currently serves as President at WinsCo Enterprises Inc., a financial and board governance consulting firm. She has served on the boards of Plexus Corp and SuperValu Inc. and is currently a member of the boards of Acuity Brands, Inc., Domtar Corporation and Dover Corporation.
Ms. Winston received a Bachelors degree of Accounting from the University of Wisconsin, an MBA in Finance, Marketing and International Business from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School, and is a CPA, as well as a NACD Board Leadership Fellow.
About Andrea Weiss
Ms. Weiss was an early innovator in multi-channel commerce and brings nearly 30 years of entrepreneurial leadership experience in the retail industry, currently serving as Founding Partner of The O Alliance, LLC and Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Retail Consulting Inc. She is recognized as a pioneer in creating a seamless customer experience, and has been a key player in transforming retail into the digital space. She also has extensive experience developing high-level business strategy and tactical execution plans, including implementing turnaround initiatives for leading brands in the U.S. and Europe. She has held executive leadership roles at dELiA*s, Inc., The Limited Inc., GUESS, Inc., Ann Taylor Stores, Inc. and The Walt Disney Company. Ms. Weiss is a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Board Governance Fellow and was named to the NACD Top 100 Best Public Directors in 2016. Ms. Weiss previously served on the boards of Grupo Cortefiel, where she served as Chairwoman, GSI Commerce, Pep Boys, Chico's FAS, Inc. and Nutrisystem, Inc. She currently serves as a director on the boards of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., O'Reilly Auto Parts and RPT Realty.
Ms. Weiss received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Masters of Administrative Science from The Johns Hopkins University. She also completed post-graduate studies at Harvard Business School and The Kellogg School at Northwestern University.
About the Company
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. and subsidiaries (the "Company") is an omnichannel retailer that is the trusted expert for the home and heartfelt life events. The Company sells a wide assortment of domestics merchandise and home furnishings. The Company also provides a variety of textile products, amenities and other goods to institutional customers in the hospitality, cruise line, healthcare and other industries. Additionally, the Company is a partner in a joint venture which operates retail stores in Mexico under the name Bed Bath & Beyond.