Rite Aid Execs Depart in Sweeping Restructuring

The company is slashing about 400 corporate positions, and its CEO, CFO, and COO will exit as part of a leadership revamp.
Lauren MuskettMarch 13, 2019
Rite Aid Execs Depart in Sweeping Restructuring

Rite Aid announced that its CEO John Standley was leaving the company along with CFO Darren Karst and COO Kermit Crawford as part of a sweeping restructuring.

In a statement, the company said it was cutting about 400 corporate positions, which is about 20% of corporate jobs, in both its headquarters and field operations. Rite Aid said it expects annual savings of about $55 million from the restructuring, with about $42 million realized in fiscal year 2020. It expects a one-time charge of about $38 million related to the restructuring.

4 Powerful Communication Strategies for Your Next Board Meeting

4 Powerful Communication Strategies for Your Next Board Meeting

This whitepaper outlines four powerful strategies to amplify board meeting conversations during a time of economic volatility. 

In announcing the move, Rite Aid named Chief Accounting Officer Matt Schroeder to be its new CFO, replacing Karst. It named Bryan Everett as the COO, replacing Crawford.

The company’s stock was up more than 6% in early afternoon trading.

While questioning the company’s future, Evercore ISI analyst Ross Muken said in a note that the executive management changes could complicate recruitment of a new CEO.

“All-in given the elevated leverage levels and likely declining profit line we think the outlook here is pretty dire. We see no real scenario long term whereby [the company] plays a meaningful role in the [drug] supply chain,” Muken said.

In August 2018, Rite Aid called off a prospective merger with Albertsons amid pushback from shareholders who said the deal, which would have formed a new company with about $83 billion in annual sales, undervalued the company.

In 2017, Rite Aid got regulatory approval to sell nearly 2,000 stores to Walgreens.

“Rite Aid’s board of directors is committed to more closely aligning the structure and leadership of the company with our present scale and today’s announcement is an important step in positioning Rite Aid for future success,” Rite Aid chairman Bruce Bodaken said.

“These are difficult decisions and we recognize the implications they have for individuals across our organization. However, it is imperative we take action to reduce the cost of current operations and become a more efficient and profitable company.”

Standley will stay on as CEO until a replacement is appointed. He has been in the role since 2010.