Jan 7, 2020
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Roots CEO steps down

Jan 7, 2020

Premium outdoor lifestyle brand Roots is beginning the new year without its CEO Jim Gabel, who has served in the top post since February 2016.

Roots CEO steps down. - Facebook: Roots

In interim, the company named Meghan Roach as interim chief executive officer.

“The board believes that Roots requires renewed leadership to carry the company into its next phase – executing on profitable growth opportunities while enhancing operational efficiency,” explained Erol Uzumeri, chair of Roots board of directors, in a news statement.

“As the CEO search process takes place, the board of directors is confident that Meghan will be a capable and impactful steward of the company, and will provide decisive leadership along with incoming chief financial officer, Mona Kennedy, and the rest of the executive team."

Roach has served as interim chief financial officer of Roots since August 2019, and served on the Roots board from 2015 to 2017. 

Roach joins the brand from Searchlight Capital Partners. Prior to Searchlight, she was a member of the private equity investment team at the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, after beginning her career with KPMG

The company did not say why Gabel left the position, but thanked him “for his many contributions to Roots."

Still, his departure follows disappointing third-quarter sales. In its most recent quarter announced in December, Roots saw total sales fall to $86.4 million, compared to $87 million reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2018. 

Total gross profit for Q3 2019 was also down 1.1 percent at $47.4 million. 

As a result, the company now expects to see sales to fall below its previously disclosed range of $358 to $375 million. It also expects adjusted EBITDA to be below its previously disclosed range of $46 to $50 million and adjusted net income of $20 to $24 million.

In December, Roots also announced the resignation of its chief merchant, Nancy Lepler. 

Roots currently operates 115 corporate-retail stores in Canada and seven in the United States, as well as 114 partner-operated stores in Taiwan, 35 in China, and one in Hong Kong. 

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