CompUSA's Hal Compton stepped down as CEO last Friday, when he was succeeded by chief operating officer Lawrence Mondry.
Compton, 56, will retire, although he will assist Mondry during a brief transition period and will serve as an advisor to Carlos Slim, chairman of CompUSA parent Grupo Sanborns.
Compton joined the computer chain in 1994 as COO and was named CEO in 2000, following its purchase by the Mexican telecommunications and retail conglomerate. In a statement, Grupo Sanborns credited him with the chain's turnaround in 1995 and its resurgence after the acquisition. During his watch, CompUSA implemented a "technology convergence strategy," designed to supplement its PC mix with CE, and struck a deal to acquire West Coast A/V specialty chain Good Guys.
Mondry, 43, was the retailer's youngest officer when he joined CompUSA as senior VP/merchandising in 1990. He was later promoted to executive VP/merchandising and was named COO in 2000, with responsibility for driving the chain's merchandising, marketing and store operations.
Grupo Sanborns described Mondry as "aggressive by nature," and as the "recognized architect" of CompUSA's convergence strategy, which is manifested by the recent rollout of some 183 in-store A/V Home Entertainment shops. The company said that Mondry's promotion and his reshaping of CompUSA's market niche represent a new era for the retail chain, which will follow a course of "steady and measured growth" through increased same-store sales, acquisitions and new business development.