Former HHGregg COO hired to lead bicycle retailer

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A former high-ranking executive of HHGregg Inc. who officially left the company Monday has been hired to lead an upstart bicycle retailer.

The locally based electronics and appliance retailer announced in February that Gregg W. Throgmartin would step down March 31 from his role as chief operating officer. His departure leaves HHGregg without executive leadership from a member of its founding family for the first time since its first store opened in 1955.

Throgmartin, 36, has turned his attention to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based BikeStreet USA, which announced his appointment Monday as CEO.

BikeStreet was founded in 2012 and has 17 locations nationwide. Under Throgmartin’s leadership, the company aims to expand by acquiring and/or opening 1,000 shops over the next seven years, it said Monday.

“As an investor in BikeStreet, I’ve been watching the growth of the company since they launched,” Throgmartin said in a prepared statement. “Now I look forward to having a direct role in it.”

Throgmartin takes over as CEO from Pat Patregnani, who founded the company and will remain as its board chairman. The two have worked together for years. HHGregg is a longtime client of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Zimmerman Advertising, where Patregnani also is CEO, Bikestreet said in the announcement.

Throgmartin had been with HHGregg for 13 years and became COO in September 2009. In the February statement announcing his departure, HHGregg said Throgmartin was leaving “to pursue other interests and manage family businesses.”

An outside spokeswoman for BikeStreet said Throgmartin was unavailable to comment on his new job.

In August and September of 2013 and March of 2014, Throgmartin cashed out of more than $10.2 million in company stock he owned.

HHGregg has yet to announce a replacement for Throgmartin.

Throgmartin is the son of former longtime HHGregg CEO Jerry Throgmartin, who died in January 2012 at 57 after 37 years with the company. Jerry Throgmartin's father, Gerald, was with the company from 1966 until the last decade, and his grandfather, Henry Harold Gregg, founded the company.

Throgmartin is the second HHGregg executive to announce his resignation from the company in recent months.

Jeremy J. Aguilar, HHGregg’s chief financial officer, announced in December that he would leave the company effective Jan. 31. He took a job with Sports Authority in February.

Shares of HHGregg were up 13 cents Tuesday morning, to $9.74 each, after trading as high as $20.75 in September.

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