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Froman Out At Circuit City; End Pact With Amazon

2/28/2005 09:46:00 AM Eastern

Richmond, Va. – John Froman has resigned his post as executive VP/chief operating officer of Circuit City, effective tomorrow.

The departure follows Phil Schoonover’s promotion from chief merchandising officer to president two weeks ago.

“Now is the right time for me to step aside and pursue other challenges,” Froman said in a statement.

Froman joined Circuit City in 1986 and was promoted from executive VP/merchandising to COO in December 2001, with responsibility for all store operations, real estate, construction, service and distribution. He was succeeded as chief merchant by Target’s Kim Maguire, who in turn was succeeded last October by Schoonover.

In announcing his departure, CEO Alan McCollough cited Froman’s “outstanding ability to motivate others … to communicate to customers and [his clear understanding of] what it takes to sell.”

Froman noted that “The company has undergone a remarkable transformation over the years and I have been proud to have been a part of the Circuit City family.”

Circuit City is also severing ties tomorrow with Amazon.com, which has carried the chain’s products and services on its site since August 2001. “Circuitcity.com has grown tremendously since … the [contract] was announced,” said Fiona Dias, president of Circuit City Direct. “We have been pleased with customer response to our own Web site and have elected to focus on growing the business through our own channel, rather than focus on the small amount of sales the relationship with Amazon.com has generated.”

Circuit City redesigned its e-commerce site last September with improved navigation and tutorials, a wider assortment and more than 100,000 customer ratings and reviews. It now offers over one million items including CE, music, movies, games and downloadable content.

Amazon continues to sell CE products for Crutchfield, J&R Music & Computer World, Office Depot, Ritz and Target.