Wayne, N.J. -- The search is on for a new chief executive of Toys “R” Us with the announcement that Gerald L. Storch is stepping down as CEO of the company. The news comes just weeks after the world's largest dedicated toy retailer reported that its same-store U.S. sales fell 4.5% during the holiday season, and that its total sales fell 4.7%.
Toys “R” Us said that Storch, 56, will remain in his position as chairman of the board, providing strategic guidance and playing a key role in its growth initiatives. He also will remain in the chief executive role while the company searches for a replacement.
A former Target executive, Storch joined the company in February 2006, following its acquisition by an investment group consisting of affiliates of Bain Capital Partners LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., and Vornado Realty Trust.
The Toys “R” Us board credited Storch with rebuilding the company and successfully leading it through an “extremely difficult global economic environment.” The company said it has dramatically increased its online presence under his leadership.
In a statement, the Toys “R” Us Board of Directors said: “Jerry has done an exceptional job in rebuilding the company, while successfully leading it through an extremely difficult global economic environment. We are grateful for his leadership over the past seven years and for the strong foundation he has built for the future,” the board said in a statement.