ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Borders Group Board Chairman Mick McGuire today announced that Ron Marshall has resigned as President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the company, effective immediately. Marshall has accepted the role of Chief Executive Officer with another publicly held retailer, but will assist Borders in the process of transitioning to new leadership.
The company has named Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer Michael J. Edwards as the Interim Chief Executive Officer. Edwards, 49, is a 26-year retail veteran with CEO experience who joined Borders in September 2009 and has been leading the merchandising and marketing teams. As Interim Chief Executive Officer, Edwards will report to McGuire. In addition, the company's Board of Directors has retained Korn/Ferry International to lead the search for a permanent CEO.
"Borders appreciates Ron's contributions during his tenure with the company," said McGuire. "In 2009, he and Chief Financial Officer Mark Bierley helped Borders make substantial operational and financial improvements that are driving increased cash flow, reducing debt and positioning Borders to pursue new growth opportunities, including recently announced partnerships to provide high-quality digital content for the industry's next generation of e-Reading devices. Mike Edwards is the right person to take on this responsibility at this time given his experiences as a CEO and proven track record of successfully repositioning and growing specialty retail businesses. Since joining Borders, he has distinguished himself as a collaborative leader with a strong commitment to revitalizing the Borders brand and a focus on driving traffic and profitable sales. We are pleased to have Mike in place along with Mark Bierley and his finance team, who continue to lead the effort of reducing expenses, improving margins and focusing on prudent capital allocation to drive cash flow."
"We have a clear commitment to drive the top line at Borders Group and there will be no interruption of our strategic plans and efforts to focus with great energy and determination on this goal during the transition," said Edwards. "Along with Mark Bierley and the rest of the leadership team, I look forward to continuing momentum in this direction while we remain disciplined on the bottom line, where we have made significant progress over the past several months. I am confident this will be a smooth transition and appreciate the continued support of all of our partners and associates."
About Borders Group
Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE: BGP) is a leading specialty retailer of books as well as other educational and entertainment items. The company employs approximately 25,000 throughout the U.S., primarily in its Borders(R) and Waldenbooks(R) stores. Online shopping is offered through borders.com. Find author interviews and vibrant discussions of the products we and our customers are passionate about online at facebook.com/borders, twitter.com/borders and youtube.com/bordersmedia. For more information about the company, visit borders.com/media.
Safe Harbor Statement
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. One can identify these forward-looking statements by the use of words such as "expect," "planning," "possibility," "opportunity," "goal," "will," "may," "intend," "anticipates" and other words of similar meaning. One can also identify them by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements are likely to address matters such as the company's future financial condition and performance (including earnings per share, the profitability of Waldenbooks, liquidity, cash flows, debt levels, sales, inventory levels and capital expenditures), its cost reduction initiatives and plans for store closings and the expansion of product categories, including eBook content. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and plans to differ materially from those included in the company's forward-looking statements.
These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, consumer demand for the company's products, particularly during the holiday season, which is believed to be related to general economic and geopolitical conditions, competition and other factors; the availability of adequate capital--including vendor credit--to fund the company's operations and to carry out its strategic plans; adverse litigation results or other claims and the performance of the company's information technology systems.
The company's periodic reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission contain more detailed discussions of these and other risk factors that could cause actual results and plans to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements, and those discussions are incorporated herein by reference. The company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Borders Group, Inc.