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CFO Gooch Gets Next Crack At R’Shack


chairman/CEO Julian Day will leave behind
unfinished business when he retires
next quarter after nearly five years
at the helm of the 6,500-store chain.

While righting the company’s financial
and operational ship, he, like the
chain’s other recent chief executives,
was ultimately unable to delineate a
focused merchandising strategy, nor
clearly define the retailer’s role in the CE

That task will fall to chief financial officer
Jim Gooch, who has been promoted
to president and will succeed Day as
CEO in May. As Gooch noted during
a Goldman Sachs retailing conference
last fall, the company has bolstered its
legacy cellular business to capitalize on
the burgeoning smartphone and mobile
broadband categories by remodeling
stores, adding iPhones and carrier TMobile,
and providing wireless services
for Target.

But much of its assortment, particularly
in A/V, remains in flux. “Some
categories are not performing as well
as we’d like,” acknowledged Day, “and
we’re working through the assortment in
each category to make sure it’s right for
our stores and to merchandise it in a way
that makes sense for our customers.”

Gooch said RadioShack is undergoing
a series of product transitions, led
by chief merchandising officer Scott
Young and his recently formed merchandising
team, after which the company
“should be better defined as to
what we stand for in those categories.”

Day, a retail turnaround specialist with
a reputation for slashing costs, joined
RadioShack in 2006 and led an overhaul
of the company that initially included
staff cuts and store closures. He also
streamlined operations, launched “The
Shack” rebranding campaign to attract
a younger customer base, and reportedly
tried but failed to find a buyer for
the 6,500-store chain.

Julian has led RadioShack through
a significant business
board director
Daniel Feehan,
president /CEO
of Cash America
International, who
will become nonexecutive
chairman upon
Day’s retirement.
“His highly disciplined
to cost control
and focus on profitability has greatly
strengthened our balance sheet and financial

Gooch, 43, joined RadioShack in
his current position in August 2006
and has been responsibility for a broad
range of functions including finance,
global sourcing and supply chain management
including inventory planning,
information technology, real estate, investor
relations, public relations and human

Prior to joining RadioShack, Gooch
spent 10 years at Kmart Holding Corp.
under Day, who had variously served as
president, COO and CEO.

Day will formally step down as chief
executive, and will relinquish his seat
on the board, at the company’s annual
shareholder meeting in May.

RadioShack paired the announcement
with preliminary results for the fourth
quarter ending Dec. 31, 2010. Comp
sales at U.S. company-owned stores
and kiosks rose about 1 percent, driven
by wireless, although consolidated gross
margin declined due to weakness in the
T-Mobile business, a higher mix of lowmargin
handsets, and markdowns.