What happened

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) plummeted 32.7% this week compared to where they closed last Friday, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after posting a severe loss for the fiscal first quarter and announcing president and CEO Mark Tritton was no longer associated with the retailer.

The home goods retailer's independent chair Harriet Edelman said in a statement, "After thorough consideration, the Board determined that it was time for a change in leadership."

$20 bill paper airplane crashing into stock pages.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Tritton was brought in from Target to lead Bed Bath & Beyond's turnaround in 2019 and kicked off his tenure with some dramatic moves, including making a sweep of the executive suite and leading the retailer's sales of many of its various side businesses over the years such as Cost Plus World Market, Christmas Tree Shops, One Kings Lane, and PersonalizationMall.com.

The COVID outbreak couldn't have come at a worse time for the retailer as it exacerbated an already bad situation that had been deteriorating for years prior to Tritton's arrival.

And though there seemed to be some initial success with the changes Tritton made, it may have just been the surge of "revenge shopping" consumers were doing after the lockdown phase of the pandemic ended. 

Bed Bath & Beyond soon returned to its old ways, though as persistent supply chain issues brought on by the pandemic weighed on its performance. But after yet another quarter of dramatic underperformance, the board apparently felt it needed an even newer set of eyes in the CEO chair and Tritton had to go.

Now what

Bed Bath & Beyond is in a deep hole. It reported that first-quarter revenue dropped 25% as comparable store sales collapsed 23% compared to the year-ago period. On a GAAP basis, losses of $4.49 per share were nearly 10 times worse than the $0.48 per share it recorded last year, but on an adjusted basis the home goods retailer went from a profit of $0.05 per share in the year-ago period to a loss of $2.83 per share.

Sue Gove, an independent director serving on the retailer's board, is taking over the CEO spot on an interim basis until a permanent replacement can be found. "We must deliver improved results. Our shareholders, Associates, customers, and partners all expect more," she said.

Bed Bath & Beyond's stock ended the week at $4.71 per share, the lowest they've traded at since the pandemic struck.