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Circuit City Names COO, Makes Other Changes

Richmond, Va. — John T. Harlow has joined Circuit City Stores as its executive VP and COO.

This appointment, plus other structural changes announced by chairman, president and CEO Phil Schoonover “bring proven turnaround experience to the retail team and enable us to move forward with our turnaround of the core business and accelerate our growth initiatives,” he said.

In his new position, Harlow will oversee the company’s retail stores, real estate, information technology and supply chain.

According to a release, Harlow comes to the company with “nearly 20 years of experience as a senior retail operator and turnaround executive.”

He was most recently a retail director with Deloitte Consulting and, according to a release, has been involved with Circuit City over the past year.

His other experience includes a stint as operations senior VP for the A&P U.S. division of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, a stint as corporate VP of administration of Toys “R” Us, a senior operating position with Genovese Drug Stores and six years of experience with Andersen Worldwide.

“John’s valuable retail experience and specific insights into Circuit City’s business will enable him to act effectively to generate improved performance at Circuit City,” said Schoonover. “John will focus on retail execution, profitable sales improvement, improving the customer experience, and implementing new systems for long-term sustainable earnings growth. John’s extensive knowledge and management skills make him uniquely suited to advance our turnaround and financial performance.”

Harlow’s appointment was not Circuit City’s only personnel-related news.

In other personnel changes, Circuit City also announced the departure of George D. “Danny” Clark, multichannel sales executive VP.

The company also said it recently named Brian S. Bradley multi-channel senior VP. The company’s direct channel, including its Web site and call center operations, will report to Bradley who in turn reports to Phil Schoonover. Bradley joined Circuit City in January 2005 as a steward of innovation, he most recently served as vice president, strategy and innovation.

Circuit City also noted that John J. Kelly assumed the responsibilities of chief merchandising officer in November 2007 and he now leads the merchandising team.

It also said Kelly E. Breitenbecher, supply chain and space planning senior VP, leads the supply chain and inventory team. Breitenbecher assumed responsibility for floor and space planning in May 2006 and was appointed inventory, floor and space planning VP in November 2006. – Colleen Bohen