Steve Birkhold Resigns, Bebe Remains CEO-less


Bebe lost CEO, Steve Birkhold, last week. Following his resignation, for a position he held since Jan. 2013, the notice went into effect immediately, and Bebe is actively searching for a successor.

There’s no insight yet as to who will be offered the permanent position, but whoever it is has some big shoes to fill. According to The Wall Street Journal, the CEO of Jackson Hole Group, Jim Wiggett, will temporarily take on the duties of Birkhold until a permanent replacement has been found. Wiggett has been consulting with Bebe for the past five years, so his familiarity and experience within the company will be a sigh of relief for employees.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are excited to welcome Jim to the team. Jim is a highly accomplished executive, with proven leadership capabilities, retail and merchandising expertise and a wealth of strategic business knowledge, and we look forward to his insights into the strategic direction of the company,” said Chairman, Manny Mashouf, in a statement.

Bebe hopes to pick itself up from a recent downfall that may or may not have chased Birkhold out the doors. The company has been struggling to keep up with the tough competition, and San Jose Mercury News reported that the lack of business caused a 1.9 percent decrease in sales during the fiscal second quarter.

Not many analysts are surprised with the downfall, but if Birkhold couldn’t prevent it, can anyone? Having previously served as the President and CEO of Lacoste North America, Bebe described Wiggett as a “highly respected merchant with a track record of brand building and more than 25 years of experience across multiple aspects of retailing.” Looks like the next candidate will need all of that – and more.


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