Borders Group Consolidates Corporate Management; Eliminates Several Positions
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Borders Group today announced that as part of its effort to drive further expense reductions, the company is consolidating its corporate management structure at the vice president and director levels, eliminating six vice president and 10 director positions. The majority of the affected positions are based at the company’s headquarters in Ann Arbor.
Specifically, Borders Group has eliminated the role of Executive Vice President of U.S. Stores held by Ken Armstrong, who joined the company in 2007. Steve Davis, Senior Vice President of Borders Group Operations, who has been with Borders Group for 15 years in a variety of operations management positions, will take on leadership of the store operations group. In addition, the post of Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer held by Susan Harwood, who joined Borders Group in 2007, has been eliminated as the company recently shifted information technology under the leadership of Dan Smith, a 14-year Borders Group veteran who was appointed Chief Administrative Officer one month ago. Within the Borders.com team, the position of Senior Vice President, E-Business held by Kevin Ertell has been eliminated as the company will now consolidate its online presence—including e-commerce and its popular Borders Media video programming— under the leadership of Rich Fahle. Fahle will now serve as Vice President, Borders.com. He has been with Borders Group for 10 years, most recently serving as Vice President, Content. Fahle is the originator of the Borders Media online video programming and has e-commerce experience with Borders, holding leadership positions beginning in the late 1990s within the company’s initial Borders.com organization.
Other changes at the vice president level include the elimination of the following positions: Vice President, Real Estate; Vice President, Human Resource Services and Vice President, Creative. In addition, Fred Boehler, Senior Vice President, Logistics, has announced he will be leaving Borders Group. These business areas will continue to be supported by existing personnel as functions are consolidated under the revised business structure.
At the director level, the 10 eliminated positions include posts based outside the corporate office—such as the roles of Sales Director and Waldenbooks Specialty Retail Regional Director—as well as director posts at the corporate office within various departments including Paperchase gifts and stationery, merchandise strategy, merchandise planning and replenishment and national event marketing.
“As we address the immediate priority of getting our company’s financial house in order, one of our goals is to more aggressively reduce annual expenses,” said Borders Group Chief Executive Officer Ron Marshall. “It is difficult to make the decision to eliminate jobs, especially those of talented and dedicated leaders who have significantly contributed to our organization, yet streamlining our leadership and eliminating management layers will help us be more agile and at the same time advance us toward our expense reduction goals.”
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