Hudson’s Bay CEO Jerry Storch leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After almost three years on the job
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Storch
  • Richard Baker taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor
  • Storch made a lengthy statement and said 72 words

UPDATED (Confusion regarding the departure date)

(exechange) — Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 21, 2017 — Jerry Storch, chief executive of Hudson’s Bay, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Hudson’s Bay Company in a news release on Friday, October 20, 2017, Gerald L. (Jerry) Storch leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the retail company after almost three years on the job, effective November 1, 2017.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first years.

Hudson’s Bay will undertake a search for a successor.

Storch’s duties are taken over in the interim by Richard Baker, currently Governor and Executive Chairman at Hudson’s Bay Company.

Hudson’s Bay has already removed the name of Storch from the leadership page and lists Baker as Governor, Executive Chairman and Interim CEO.

The apparently contradictory information on the company’s leadership page and in the announcement from Hudson’s Bay Company regarding the date of Storch’s departure from the position of CEO caused confusion.

Storch’s departure was announced after the Toronto Stock Exchange closed Friday.

Andrew Blecher, Senior Vice President Corporate Communications & Public Relations at Hudson’s Bay Company, did not respond to an email message seeking comment.

“To further enhance HBC’s strategies and take the Company to its next phase of development and growth”

A reason for the sudden change was not explicitly given. Hudson’s Bay said: “The Company has retained an executive search firm to recruit a CEO to further enhance HBC’s strategies and take the Company to its next phase of development and growth.”

Storch will return to his advisory firm

“Gerald L. (Jerry) Storch has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer, effective November 1, 2017, to return to his advisory firm, Storch Advisors,” Hudson’s Bay said.

Storch Advisors already listed Gerald Storch as CEO on its leadership page.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CEO leaves the position abruptly and without a reasonable explanation.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Hudson’s Bay Company since June 2015.

Chaired by Richard Baker

Hudson’s Bay Company is chaired by Richard Baker.

On the job as CEO since 2015

Gerald L. Storch has been the Chief Executive Officer of Hudson’s Bay Company since January 6, 2015.

Storch was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Hudson’s Bay Company in January 2015.

Storch has had a distinguished 30-year career in retail leadership and management consulting.

Prior to joining HBC, Storch was CEO of Storch Advisors, a retail advisory firm.

Previously, he served as Chairman and CEO of Toys”R”Us, where he oversaw the acquisitions of FAO Schwarz, eToys and KB Toys, expanded into China and Eastern Europe, and grew the company into a U.S.$13 billion global retailer.

Before that, Storch was Vice Chairman of Target Corporation, where, among other accomplishments, he founded and built target.com, and launched their grocery and financial services businesses.

Prior to Target Corporation, Storch was a Principal at McKinsey & Company.

Storch received a JD from Harvard Law School, a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School, and a BA from Harvard College.

Storch is non-Executive Chairman of the board of directors of Supervalu and a director of both Bristol Myers Squibb and Fanatics.

At the time of Storch’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Hudson’s Bay, Richard Baker had said: “The Board and I could not be more pleased to have Jerry, an accomplished executive with a proven track record of growing retailers through both digital and traditional channels, join us. We believe this change will enhance our growth strategy. I have had the opportunity to work closely with Jerry over the past year as he advised on the development of our OFF 5TH strategy. I was impressed with his strategic vision, leadership, collaborative approach and operational expertise, and look forward to working with him.”

At the time of Storch’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Hudson’s Bay, Jerry Storch had said: “I’m thrilled to join Hudson’s Bay Company and partner with Richard. The HBC team has built a very strong foundation and I am excited to help take the company to the next level. There are many exciting opportunities across these great retail franchises, including strengthening the connection between our store and digital businesses, expanding our Outlet channel and investing in our world class store base.”

Unplanned

As a general rule, when a top manager announces to step aside with no permanent successor available, it’s a sign that the change was unexpected and too early.

In general, possible causes for an unexpected management change can be, among others, disagreement or dispute.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Jerry Storch’s sudden move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 43.2017 ($).