Borders gets new chief executive.

Borders hopes new chief can improve its story

Borders, the struggling US bookstore chain, has brought in a new chief executive to head its turnround efforts, after a dismal holiday season that saw comparable sales at its superstores fall 14.4 per cent.

The decline was driven by an 11 per cent fall in book sales, underlining the exposure of the entire book publishing industry to the current slump in consumer spending.

Ron Marshall, a veteran retail executive, is to take over as chief executive from George Jones, who had headed the company for the past 2½ years.

Mr Marshall, 54, has headed his own private equity fund for the past three years, but previously spent eight years as chief executive of Nash Finch, the food distribution company, where he oversaw a financial turnround.

His early career included working for Barnes & Noble, Borders’ larger rival, and for Crown Books, as well as chief financial officer of Pathmark, a regional supermarket chain, in the 1990s.

Larry Pollock, Borders’ chairman, said Mr Marshall would be involved in “more aggressively” spearheading cost-cutting and operational improvements aimed at securing the company’s long-term future. (Source: FT)

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