Petco CEO out; taps former Best Buy exec as interim chief

R. Michael (Mike) Mohan
R. Michael (Mike) Mohan, interim CEO, Petco.

The chief executive of Petco has departed the company after a disappointing fourth quarter. 

Petco Health and Wellness Company has appointed board member and former longtime Best Buy executive R. Michael Mohan to serve as interim CEO, effective Wednesday, March 13. Mohan temporarily replaces Ron Coughlin, who has stepped down as Petco's chief executive, chairman and board member. 

Coughlin, who has headed up Petco since June 2018 and was key in the retailer's evolution into a pet health and wellness company, will serve as an advisor to the board to support the transition. Coughlin also oversaw Petco's IPO in 2021. The board is conducting a comprehensive search for a permanent CEO with the support of a global executive search firm.

Mohan served as president and COO of Best Buy Co. Inc. from June 2019 to July 2021, where he was responsible for the operations of the company's U.S. and International businesses. From 2004 to June 2019, he served in various leadership roles at the consumer electronics giant,  overseeing services, customer experience, category management, merchandising, marketing and supply chain functions.

Mohan, who since leaving Best Buy has served as an independent management consultant, has served on the Petco board since March 2021 and as lead independent director since July 2021. In conjunction with his appointment, Mohan stepped down from the board's audit committee and also stepped down from the lead independent director role. The board size has also been reduced from 11 to 10 with Coughlin's departure.

"Mike's highly successful track record across multiple segments of the retail industry, deep knowledge of Petco and strong operational skills make him the ideal executive to ensure a seamless transition as Petco moves forward," said Cameron Breitner, member of the Petco board of directors.

 Mohan also serves as chairman of the board of directors of Bloomin' Brands Inc. and serves on the board of directors of Vizio Holding Corp. and Jackson Family Wines.

Petco boosts net revenue as profits shrink

Petco reported a net loss of $22.6 million, or a loss of $0.08 per share, the quarter ended Feb.3, compared to net income of $32.7 million, or $0.12 per share. Adjusted earnings per share were $0.02 cents per share.

Net revenue rose 6.1% to $1.7 billion, inclusive of a 14th week. Comparable sales declined 0.9% year-over-year. 

For the full year 2023, Petco delivered net revenue of $6.3 billion, up 3.6% from $6 billion the prior year, inclusive of a 53rd week. Net loss totaled $1.3 billion, compared to net income of $91 million in fiscal year 2022. Comparable sales grew 1.8% year-over-year.

The retailer is forecasting net loss of $1.5 billion and loss per share of six cents for the first quarter of fiscal 2024.

Founded in 1965, Petco operates more than 1,500 pet care centers across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico. The company also operated 282 full-service hospitals as of the end of 2023.

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