Management Turnover as Change Agent

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Heelys Jettisons CEO After Eight Months

Heely’s HLYS (NASDAQ) the wheeled sneaker manufacturer that has been reeling since its fad faded has been forced to get rid of its CEO again.  Back in May 2008 the company was reeling and replaced its CEO Michael Staffaroni with Don Carroll.  Carroll had been with the firm for a short time as its SVP of Marketing.  At the time of theOne year stock performance of Heelys appointment, I was skeptical Carroll would succeed in turning the company around (see earlier blog).  Now Heely’s finds itself in an even more difficult place.  According to an article by Sheryl Jean of the Dallas News,

The Carrollton-based company that makes sneakers with built-in wheels for kids said Tuesday that Carroll’s resignation is effective immediately. Carroll, who became CEO on May 20, 2008, had been trying to turn the company around and broaden its product line. 

Heelys named Michael W. Hessong interim CEO until a replacement is found. He was the company’s chief financial officer for eight years until he left last May.

 Heelys has been looking to find a savior for some time.  The company rejected a buyout offer from footwear company Skeechers USA last summer.  Since then Heelys appears to have been looking to no avail for another buyout opportunity.  The company’s options are only getting smaller.  The choice of a former CFO as the company’s interim chief executive only points to the firm’s belief that some kind of buyout is their best option. Stay tuned.  

For more: 

 Yahoo Finance AP  

Dallas Business Journal   

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