RadioShack CEO steps down as company tries to hasten revival

Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:26pm EDT
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By Arpita Mukherjee and Juhi Arora

(Reuters) - RadioShack Corp RSH.N Chief Executive James Gooch stepped down on Wednesday, as the once-iconic electronics retailer seeks to revive its fortunes after a series of strategic setbacks.

"The board decided that the timing was right," said company spokesman Eric Bruner.

"Moving forward with the decision sooner rather than later will help establish the right leadership to address the company's challenges."

RadioShack's shares, which have fallen more than 80 percent since Gooch took over last May, were down 0.8 percent at $2.54 in morning trading.

RadioShack, famous in the vacuum tube era as a hangout for radio and electronics enthusiasts, has been increasingly focusing on selling low-margin phone calling plans and smartphones, particularly the Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote) iPhone.

Mirroring the fortunes of other electronics retailers such as Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N: Quote), the company's operating margins shrank to 3.5 percent in 2011 from 8.7 percent in 2009.

Operating margins could decline to -0.1 percent in 2012, Bradley Thomas of KeyBanc Capital Markets said in a note.

RadioShack, whose joint venture with Target Corp (TGT.N: Quote) has fallen short of expectations, is also facing increasing competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote) and online retailers such as Inc (AMZN.O: Quote).   Continued...