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New CEO at Bed Bath & Beyond shakes up chain of command

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Six senior executives were ousted at Bed Bath & Beyond, the first major maneuver by a new CEO that the retailer recruited from Target to reinvigorate pallid sales. The departures announced Tuesday include the company's chief merchandising officer, marketing officer, digital officer, it's general counsel and its chief administrative officer. The company's chief brand officer resigned last week.

Bed Bath & Beyond has been hammered by the likes of Amazon.com and also the discount home furnishing chain HomeGoods. The chain has had a three-year decline in same-store sales growth, while sales growth has dropped for three consecutive quarters. Gross income has dropped for 10 straight quarters.

The environment heading into the holiday shopping season appears at best, challenging. Retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in November, down from 0.4% in the previous month, according to the Commerce Department, and that's including a strong showing on car lots. If auto sales are removed, sales ticked up just 0.1%.

“Balancing our existing expertise with fresh perspectives from new, innovative leaders of change, will help us to better anticipate and support our customers," said CEO Mark Tritton in a prepared statement Tuesday.

Tritton was named CEO about two months ago after successfully rejuvenating Target's private label brands while launching 30 new brands at the retailer as its chief merchandising officer. Tritton succeeded interim CEO Mary A. Winston.

When Tritton was named CEO on Oct. 9, shares jumped more than 20%. Shareholders were encouraged by a team that will be handpicked by the CEO. The company's stock jumped 11% Tuesday. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. has filled in the executive positions on an interim basis and begun a search for permanent replacement.

The company also runs Buy Buy Baby, Christmas Tree Shops and Cost Plus World Market.

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