Pier 1 Appoints New CFO and President

The retailer announced a number of management changes following a stock split as it seeks to retain its listing on the NYSE.
Pier 1 Appoints New CFO and President

Pier 1 Imports named Robert Riesbeck chief financial officer starting July 22. He succeeds Deborah Rieger-Paganis who has been interim CFO since April after Nancy Walsh left the struggling home furnishing retailer.

Riesbeck was most recently chief financial officer of Fullbeauty Brands. He leaves after only one year on the job at Fullbeauty, which recently replaced its CEO and gave the job to an outsider.

Previously in his career, Riesbeck was CFO and then CEO and president of consumer electronics and home appliance retailer hhgregg. Earlier in his career, he was chief financial and operating officer for the Hurley and Bauer Hockey businesses at Nike.

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Walsh left the Pier 1 CFO role after only a year and in the wake of the resignation of CEO Alasdair James in December 2018. Rieger-Paganis, the interim CFO, is a managing director at restructuring firm AlixPartners.

The naming of a new CFO was part of a larger executive reshuffling at Pier 1. The company also named Douglas Diemoz president, a newly created position to oversee day-to-day operations and performance.

Diemoz was most recently the CEO of Crate & Barrel from July 2015 to April 2017. Prior to that he was chief development officer of Restoration Hardware.

The company is also creating an office of the chief executive officer, led by interim CEO Cheryl Bachelder and including Diemoz, Riesbeck, and Robert Bostrom, executive vice president, chief legal and compliance officer and corporate secretary. The company’s other executive officers will now report to Diemoz.

“Doug’s and Bob’s appointments are the result of two successful searches to strengthen our leadership team at a pivotal time for our company,” CEO Bachelder said.

In June, Pier 1 said it planned to close 57 stores in the fiscal year. The company announced at that time that it had lost $81.7 million, or $19.97 a share, greater than its loss of $28.5 million, or $7.11 a share, a year earlier. It reported sales of $314 million, down from $371 million a year earlier. It was the company’s fifth consecutive quarter of losses.

At Pier 1’s June 19 annual meeting, shareholders approved a plan for a reverse stock split at a ratio of 1-for-5, 1-for-10, or 1-for-20, and to reduce the number of authorized shares of common stock to regain compliance with the minimum share price continued listing rule on the New York Stock Exchange.

Shares of Pier 1 were up 7.69% in premarket trading before falling Friday morning. The stock has declined more than 37% this week and more than 71% during the past month.