Borders Group BGP (NYSE), the struggling book retailer,
announced today that its CEO, Ron Marshall, has resigned as CEO and director of the firm effective immediately. Marshall was appointed CEO just over a year ago. Borders has been struggling for some time and has been facing increasing pressure from activist investors (Pershing Square Capital). At the same time the company has appointed EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer, Michael J. Edwards, as the interim CEO. According to a story by Mark Clothier for Bloomberg,
Borders… last reported an annual profit in 2006, has seen revenue drop for the past three years as consumers spent less on books and non-essential items amid declining home values and rising unemployment.
Marshall’s resignation comes after the company announced very disappointing sales news. According to a blog story in The New York Times,
Last week, the company announced a nearly 14 percent decline in sales over the 11-week holiday period ending Jan. 16, compared with same period last year. The company was also forced to issue a statement denying rumors that it had extended the time it took to pay bills to small publishers.
Rumors abound that Marshall’s comes as he is about to take a new CEO position.The interim CEO has a very difficult task ahead of him. Edwards has extensive retail experience but he has never faced a more daunting task than the problems currently faced by Borders. The search for a new CEO will need to find a possible miracle worker.