Build-A-Bear Has Found a CEO

After four months of looking, Build-A-Bear has found-a-CEO.

After close of trading Monday, Build-A-Bear Workshop announced it has chosen Sharon Price John to become its new Chief Executive Officer and Chief President Bear. She will replace outgoing Chief Executive Bear (the cute titles are undergoing a bit of a change) Maxine Clark, company founder, who announced her own intention to retire back in February.

John comes to Build-A-Bear from Wolverine Worldwide, where she has served as president of the kid-focused Stride Rite division. Prior to that, she held positions at Mattel and Hasbro -- also good training grounds for a position at Build-A-Bear. As Build-A-Bear's non-executive Chairman Mary Lou Fiala noted, "Sharon possesses a deep knowledge of the toy industry and the retail landscape and has a proven ability to assess brands and create a strategy that generates sales and profitability growth."

In an SEC filing, Build-A-Bear reported it will be paying John an annual base salary of $625,000, plus:

  • An annual bonus targeting 100% of base salary, and payable in either cash, stock, stock options or a combination thereof.

  • A signing bonus of $112,500.

  • Restricted stock worth $656,300.

  • 195,512 stock options.

  • A long-term performance-based cash incentive targeting $468,700.


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