Bookseller Borders fires CEO, other top managers

January 5, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Ann Arbor, Michigan based Borders Group Inc. has removed its top management team and replaced CEO George Jones, after an extremely disappointing holiday sales season, Jones had headed Borders since he replaced Greg Josefowicz in July 2006. Effective today, Ron Marshall, a former private equity firm executive, will replace Jones as the chief executive officer of Borders Group. In a statement, the company said the move was made “to more aggressively drive a turnaround of the company within today’s challenging economy.”The news came as the bookseller reported today that its total holiday sales were $868.8 million, a 11. 7 percent drop from 2007. Borders has been in turnaround mode for at least the past two years, after losing more than $150 million both 2006 and 2007. In spring 2007, Borders launched an aggressive turnaround plan aimed at returning the company to profitability. The retailer put itself up for sale earlier this year, but then took itself off the market just recently.  Borders also said it has been notified by the New York Stock Exchange that its stock has been trading for less than $1 for a consecutive 30 days. Within the next six months, the company must get its stock above $1 a share for 30 consecutive days or face delisting from the exchange. Borders’ stock closed at 45 cents a share on Friday.

Other top management changes include:

• Mark Bierley will replace Ed Wilhelm as chief financial officer. Previously, Bierley was senior vice president of finance with Borders.

• Anne Kubek will replace Rob Gruen as executive vice president, merchandising and marketing. She has been with Borders since 1990.

• Dan Smith is now chief administrative officer. Previously he was executive vice president of human resources.


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