Exec from struggling RadioShack joins HHGregg

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HHGregg Inc. has hired a new chief operating officer about a month after the executive formerly in that position left to become CEO of a bicycle retailer.

The Indianapolis-based electronics and appliance chain announced Wednesday that it had hired Troy Risch, former executive vice president of store operations for RadioShack Corp., as its new COO.

“As we continue to transform the company, Troy's expansive experience in retail store operations and real estate will be instrumental in driving the strategic initiatives for HHGregg’s long-term growth,” CEO Dennis May said in prepared comments.

In the move, Risch trades one big retailer struggling to find its footing for another.

RadioShack is in the midst of a turnaround plan that has grown sluggish due to disagreements with its lenders, according to the Wall Street Journal. The chain announced in March that it planned to close 1,100 stores in the U.S., but some lenders reportedly are proposing that as many as 2,000 stores be closed.

At RadioShack, Risch was responsible for 4,400 stores. He resigned on April 18. He will assume his duties at HHGregg on May 5.

Shares of HHGregg have been taking a beating since late September, when they traded for more than $20 a share. Shares stood at $8.54 during morning trading on Wednesday. The company has struggled to find a winning product mix, focusing more heavily on appliances, furniture and fitness equipment after the bottom fell out of the TV and video markets.

On April 15, HHGregg issued a warning to investors that it expected a sharp drop in fiscal fourth-quarter sales.

On March 31, COO Gregg Throgmartin stepped down to become CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based BikeStreet USA. His departure left HHGregg without executive leadership from a member of its founding family for the first time since its first store opened in 1955.


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