By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
FORT WORTH, TEXAS — RadioShack's newly-installed chairman/CEO Julian Day is wasting little time reshaping senior management at the beleaguered CE chain.
On Aug. 25 Jim Hamilton, executive VP of merchandising and marketing, became the third top executive who has left RadioShack within one month of Day assuming office. President/COO Claire Babrowski, formally stepped down the day the Hamilton exit was announced, and former CFO David Barnes, who exited within a week of Day's appointment for another post.
Hamilton's position has been eliminated as part of a restructuring and workforce reduction that will cut upwards of 450 positions through September, including employees at all levels of RadioShack headquarters. Surprisingly, RadioShack issued the layoffs last week by e-mail. The company is also looking to save approximately $30 million in fiscal 2006 from reallocation of marketing resources. His duties will be assumed by Wes Lowzinski, senior VP/ general merchandise manager, and marketing senior VP Tori Binau.
Similarly, Babrowski's COO position will not be filled.
Day, 54, is regarded as a retail turnaround specialist with a knack for cost cutting, and is credited with leading Kmart out of bankruptcy during his tenure there as president and later CEO. Earlier this month he named fellow Sears and Kmart veteran James Gooch to succeed Barnes as CFO.
Babrowski's departure came as a surprise to retail analysts who had commended her operational skills and her performance as acting CEO, a position she assumed in February after resume irregularities led to Edmonson's resignation. “We view this departure as a negative,” observed Banc of America's David Strasser. “We thought of the Day-Babrowski duo as a 'Dream Team' of managers with the combination of both financial and operational expertise at the helm.”
Babrowski joined RadioShack one year ago as VP/COO after leaving her position as chief restaurant operations officer at McDonald's and had been a leading candidate for RadioShack's CEO slot .
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.