Nov 6, 2023 - Economy

Bed Bath & Beyond CEO steps down after Overstock transition

Overstock launched as Bed Bath & Beyond in August. Photo: Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

The new Bed Bath & Beyond, formerly Overstock, said Monday that CEO Jonathan Johnson was immediately stepping down and the online retailer would search for a permanent replacement.

Driving the news: The news of Johnson's exit came days after activist hedge fund JAT Capital, which has a 9.6% stake in the company, called for his removal in a letter to the board and said his performance was poor.

  • Dave Nielsen, who has been Beyond's president since 2019, has been named interim CEO.
  • Monday was also the day that the corporate name, Inc. changed to Beyond, Inc. and its stock listing changed from OSTK to BYON.

Flashback: Overstock acquired the bankrupt retailer's intellectual property for $21.5 million after winning it in a June bankruptcy auction.

State of play: The Overstock rebrand represents an opportunity for the combined company to chart a new path forward in an industry that has seen growth slow significantly.

  • "We've looked at Bed Bath for about two and a half, three years," Johnson previously told Axios. "We've loved its brand, we love its customer loyalty, we love the customer demographic."
  • One reason for rebranding was confusion over the Overstock name. The company started as an online liquidator in 1999 but "for two decades that is not what we've been," Johnson told Axios.

What they're saying: Johnson, who had been CEO since 2019 and with the company for 20 years, said in a news release that as "the company turns the page to become Beyond, now is the right time for me to also turn the page to the next chapter in my career."

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