On Wednesday, Toys 'R' Us announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Gerald L. Storch, will leave his role but remain as the Chairman of the Board. The company will start a search for his successor and during the interim period, Storch will continue as the company's CEO.
In a corporate press release, The Toys 'R' Us, Inc. Board of Directors said:
“Jerry has done an exceptional job in rebuilding the company, while successfully leading it through an extremely difficult global economic environment. We are grateful for his leadership over the past seven years and for the strong foundation he has built for the future. Jerry has delivered some of the best financial results in the more than 60-year history of the company, including multiple years of achieving $1 billion or more in adjusted EBITDA. He has been tireless in his efforts to develop best-in-class e-commerce and omnichannel capabilities and in significantly expanding the development of proprietary and differentiated products. Under Jerry’s leadership, we rolled out the integrated store strategy around the world and made a number of strategic acquisitions. Most recently, in acquiring the majority stake in the company’s business in Southeast Asia and Greater China, he has provided the company with a long runway for growth abroad. We thank Jerry for his strategic repositioning of the business.”
Storch has been with the company since 2006. He came into the company via an acquisition by the investment group that included Bain Capital Partners LLC, KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE: KKR), and Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO). Prior to his tenure at Toys "R" Us, he was the vice chairman at Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT).
As the company's chairman of the board, Storch will continue providing strategic guidance and contribute to the company's growth initiatives.
The chairman said in Wednesday's press release, "I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together over the past seven years. The Toys“R”Us brand is stronger than ever due to the hard work and dedication of our talented team around the world. Looking to the future, we will always ‘Play to Win’.’’
During his tenure, Storch had been admired for helping the company during challenging economic times by seeing strong financial results during the company's 60-year history and placing it in a position for growth in China and Southeast Asia. But as his time comes to an end, Toys "R" Us has seen weak sales and increased competition.
In January, the company reported that its U.S. stores sales declined in December thanks to less demand for electronics and an uncertain economy. The toy industry has also faced challenges from mobile-device games, which compete with physical toys, reported MarketWatch, and the recent softening demand from Europe and Japan.