In another sign of the troubles afflicting Borders (BGP), the country's second-largest book retailer, Mark Bierley has resigned as the company's chief financial officer and chief operating officer "to pursue another employment opportunity." Vice President Glen Tomaszewski, a 12-year Borders veteran, will serve as interim CFO while the company searches for a replacement.
Bierley, who has worked for Borders since 1996, exits the company 18 months after being named CFO and just two months after being appointed COO. The news also comes only nine days before Borders is due to post its latest earnings report.
It's the latest bump in what has been a tumultuous year for Borders, what with the arrival of new CEO Bennett LeBow, five rounds of layoffs and the selloff of the company's profitable stationery arm, Paperchase, to a U.K. private-equity firm. Bierley's departure is another signal to both investors and publishing-industry types that the book retailer's health remains ailing.
Still, co-CEO Mike Edwards tried to put the requisite positive spin on Bierley's departure. "We are highly committed to driving the top line at Borders Group, while continuing to prudently manage expenses," Edwards said in today's announcement. "As we conduct our search for a new CFO, I will work closely with Glen on carrying out our financial priorities, including maximizing the profitability of our stores and increasing the efficiency of our supply chain. I appreciate the continued support of all of our partners and associates during this transitional time."