MERRIMACK, N.H., May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Brookstone, Inc., the innovative product development company and multi-channel specialty retailer, announced today the appointment of Stephen Bebis as the Company's new President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Company's Board of Directors, effective immediately.
Jackson Tai, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Brookstone and its Interim President and Chief Executive Officer since January 2012, commented, "We are extremely pleased that Stephen has agreed to serve as Brookstone's new President and Chief Executive Officer. We conducted a broad CEO search and interviewed a number of highly qualified internal and external candidates. We were impressed by Stephen's track record as an entrepreneur, his hands-on experience as a manager and mentor at the highest levels in the retail industry, and his ability to drive growth and achieve market leadership."
Prior to joining Brookstone, Bebis spent fourteen years as founder, President and CEO of Golf Town, the largest specialty golf retailer in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Starting the business from scratch, Bebis grew Golf Town to 57 locations across Canada and led the expansion of the company into the Boston market last year with seven stores.
Bebis began his retailing career with Sears in store sales and management, and later moved into merchandising roles in 1976 with Grossman's Lumber Chain, a home-improvement company based in the Boston area, and in 1984 with The Home Depot, where he grew revenues through the introduction of new merchandise categories. After serving as the Vice President, General Merchandise Manager for Home Depot's Mid-Southern Division, Bebis in 1991 led the start-up of Aikenhead's Home Improvement Warehouse in Toronto, Canada. As President and CEO, Bebis grew the company to 12 stores with 10 planned before selling Aikenhead's in 1994 to The Home Depot. After two years as President and CEO of The Home Depot Canada, Bebis joined Jumbo Sports Inc. (formerly Sports and Recreation) in 1996 as President and CEO before launching Golf Town in 1998.
Commenting on his appointment, Bebis said, "I am thrilled to be leading Brookstone. Very few retailers have the power of the Brookstone brand, the Company's heritage as a product innovator, plus Brookstone's unique ability to distribute creative lifestyle products through our multi-channel resources, including our acclaimed catalog, our dynamic website, www.brookstone.com, our valued wholesale partners and our interactive, customer-friendly retail stores."
"I'm impressed, like everyone, by the quality of Brookstone's innovative product assortment," said Bebis, "and it's the chance of a lifetime to be able to work with talented and dedicated people who share the same goal of bringing excitement and fun to our customers."
Tai concluded by saying, "The Brookstone team made excellent progress in the first quarter in growing revenues, improving our EBITDA and further strengthening our financial condition. With that progress, together with our recently restructured balance sheet and now the strong and seasoned leadership of CEO Stephen Bebis and COO Jim Speltz, I am convinced that Brookstone is well-positioned for growth in a fast-changing retail market."
Brookstone, Inc. is an innovative product development and specialty lifestyle retail company that currently operates 283 Brookstone branded stores nationwide and in Puerto Rico. Typically located in high-traffic regional shopping malls and airports, the stores feature unique and innovative consumer products. The Company also operates an e-Commerce channel that includes the Brookstone catalog and the Brookstone website at http://www.brookstone.com as well as an alternative distribution channel that includes sales to select resellers and corporate partners.
Non-GAAP Financial Information
EBITDA is a measure used by management to evaluate the Company's ongoing operations and as a general indicator of the Company's operating cash flow. The Company defines EBITDA as net income, plus interest expense, provision for income taxes, and depreciation and amortization. Management believes EBITDA is useful to investors because it is frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in the comparative evaluation of companies. Because not all companies use identical calculations, the Company's presentation of EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. EBITDA is not a recognized term under GAAP and does not purport to be an alternative to either net income as a measure of operating performance or to cash flows from operating activities as a measure of liquidity. Additionally, EBITDA is not intended to be a measure of free cash flow for management's discretionary use as it does not reflect certain cash requirements such as interest payments, tax payments and debt service requirements.