Pier 1 on Monday named Robert Riesbeck permanent CEO and director of the company, effective after the close of business that day. Riesbeck succeeds Cheryl Bachelder, who has been serving in the role in the interim since last December. Bachelder will remain on Pier 1's board.
Riesbeck, who has been with the company since July as its CFO, will also remain in the chief finance position, according to a company press release. Prior to Pier 1, Riesbeck served in executive roles at FullBeauty, H.H. Gregg and private equity firm Sun Capital Partners.
Pier 1 also announced the appointment of Donna Colaco as president. Colaco succeeds Douglas Diemoz, the former CEO of Crate and Barrel, who left for undisclosed reasons.
Following the departure of Alasdair James in December 2018, Bachelder was appointed to serve in the chief executive role in the interim. Now, after nearly a year of not having a permanent CEO, the search is over for the distressed home goods retailer.
In its announcement, Pier 1 highlighted Riesbeck's experience in both "growth and turnaround situations." Notably, Riesbeck was CFO and then CEO of HHGregg, and CFO of FullBeauty, while both retailers filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2017 and February 2019 respectively.
"Bob has stepped into a leadership role at Pier 1 with a sense of urgency and deep capability," Chairman of the Board Terry London said in a statement.
With Monday's executive appointments, the company also announced it will dissolve the "office of the CEO," which it established in July.
Riesbeck steps into the role at a critical time for the company. S&P Global Ratings in April downgraded the issuer credit rating on Pier 1 from CCC+ to CCC-, according to a note emailed to Retail Dive. S&P also downgraded the issue-level rating on the company's senior secured term loan, citing increased potential for bankruptcy or debt restructuring.
And in September, Pier 1 reported net sales fell some 14.3% from last year to $304.6 million and its net loss nearly doubled year over year to $100.6 million. The company also announced at the time that it planned to close 70 stores in the fiscal year, but anticipates the number will increase. More than 140 locations — or 15% of its total portfolio — could end up shuttering if its turnaround efforts prove unsuccessful.
"Bob has quickly established himself as the right leader to successfully take the Company forward," Bachelder said in a statement. "While we recognize there is still much work to do, Bob has been instrumental in helping the leadership team advance our plan to reset and reimagine the future of this iconic brand and he has put in place a highly capable finance team to steward the Company's resources."
In a separate announcement, Pier 1 said the New York Stock Exchange has accepted the home goods retailer's plan to regain standard listing compliance. In August, Pier 1 received notification from the NYSE warning of possible delisting for not complying with the stock exchange's listing criteria. The retailer's global market cap at the time of notification was less than $50 million over a 30-day trading period, while shareholders' equity was also less than $50 million.
Pier 1 was warned of immediate suspension and delisting procedures if its 30-day average market capitalization fell below $15 million. With the approved plan, the retailer now has 18 months to raise its stock price in order to avoid delisting.
"The management team and our talented associates remain focused on driving a sales turnaround and improved profitability to increase our market valuation and deliver value for our shareholders and other stakeholders," Riesbeck said in a statement.