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CompUSA Overhauling Operations

Dallas — CompUSA is undergoing a comprehensive restructuring under recently named president/CEO Roman Ross in an effort to streamline operations, reduce expenses and improve its competitive position in the marketplace.

As part of the overhaul, chief merchant Brian Woods has left the company and has been succeeded by recent recruit Gabriela Villalobos as executive VP/sales and operations.

Other senior executives are also being transitioned out, and a number of stores and regional offices may be closed.

Separately, chief financial officer Todd Whitbeck accepted a position with another company prior to the restructuring and has been succeeded by Mike Bryk.

A spokesperson for the privately held company described the leadership and structural changes as “comprehensive,” and said they were designed to improve CompUSA’s profitability and ability to compete in an increasingly challenging retail environment.

The restructuring follows reports that CompUSA parent Grupo Carso SA may issue $440 million in new shares through a holding company, U.S. Commercial Corp., to help shore up the ailing chain.

CompUSA has been struggling for several years to find a game plan within the commodity-driven PC market, including an ill-fated effort to enter the A/V category by acquiring the now defunct Good Guys chain. The company’s struggles were reflected in Ross’s appointment last August as its third chief executive within a year, and in reports that Grupo Carso principal Carlos Slim Helu had hired Credit Suisse Group in September to shop the retailer to private investors. — Additional reporting by Doug Olenick