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BED BATH & BEYOND SHUFFLES TOP MANAGEMENT.

MORRISTOWN, N.J. -Bed Bath & Beyond is putting a succession plan into place as co-founders Warren Eisenberg and Leonard Feinstein continue to scale back their involvement in the company, it was reported at the company's annual meeting here Friday.

As part of the initiative, Steven Temares was made the company's president and chief operating officer, while Feinstein relinquished his role as Bed Bath & Beyond's president and now serves as co-chief executive and co-chairman along with Eisenberg.

Earlier this year, the company promoted 11 executives, including Arthur Stark, now senior vice president, merchandising, and Matthew Fiorilli, senior vice president, stores.

The 40-year-old Temares, who has a legal background, joined the Union, N.J., retailer in 1992 as director of real estate and general counsel. Prior to the new promotion, he served as the company's executive vice president and chief operating officer, earning a salary of $383,000, with stock options valued at $100,000 last year. (Both founders earned more than $1 million in total compensation.)

"I'm in my eighth year with the company, and I have been living and breathing it," Temares said. Although he declined to talk specifics, he said that his vision and goals for the company are the same as they have always been: offering the customer the best shopping experience possible.

All the board members were extremely tight-lipped about the company's future plans. They would not discuss any merchandising strategies or possible plans for new store formats. But Eisenberg noted that the mix between hard lines and soft lines remains basically unchanged at 45 percent hard lines and 55 percent soft lines.

Bed Bath & Beyond also declined to comment on its online plans, although Temares did say that the retailer "believes in the viability of the channel."

The specialty retailer -- whose main competitor, Linens 'n Things, had a store count of 196 last year -- will add 50 stores this year to its current number of 192.

Bed Bath & Beyond, following another record sales and earnings year, said its first quarter 1999 was its 28th consecutive quarter of record earnings. Net earnings for the quarter grew nearly 38 percent, to $17.9 million, and net sales grew by slightly more than 33 percent, to $359.4 million.

Total sales for fiscal 1998 grew to nearly $1.4 billion from $1.1 billion a year earlier.

"Our financial standing is the strongest it has ever been," said Feinstein.
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Comment:BED BATH & BEYOND SHUFFLES TOP MANAGEMENT.
Author:Vincenti, Lisa
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 28, 1999
Words:400
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