Halpin Out At CompUSA

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CompUSA CEO James Halpin stepped down on Friday amidst a flurry of activity that saw CompUSA shutter its online component cozone.com and reassign several senior management positions.

Harold Compton, the company's COO, will replace Halpin, who had been with CompUSA since 1993, building the chain up to 218 stores. However, CompUSA has had a difficult time fending off direct computer sellers Dell and Gateway the past two years during which time the company's stock price has fallen from around $30 to less than $6.

Compton said several people will be promoted as part of a general overall realignment of upper management, but did not release any details. His stated goal with these changes will be to improve customer and vendor relations.

CompUSA's cozone.com operations will be melded into the compusa.com site to gain better name recognition from the former site. Cozone.com was launched in October 1999 but suffered from reported poor sales, a company spokeswoman said.

Mexican retail holding company Grupo Sanborn SA recently completed an $800 million takeover of the Texas-based CompUSA.

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