Storch to step down as Toys R Us CEO, remain chairman

Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:56pm EST
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By Dhanya Skariachan

(Reuters) - Toys R Us Inc TOY.UL said on Wednesday that Gerald Storch will step down as its chief executive, just weeks after the world's largest dedicated toy retailer reported disappointing results for the all-important holiday season.

The news added to doubts about the retailer's chances to return to being a public company this year, after filing for an initial public offering in May 2010.

The company, which saw its U.S. sales fall during the holiday season, said it will start a search for a successor. Storch, 56, will remain chairman of the board.

"There was a lot of pressure on him, there was a lot of finger-pointing. 'How did he mess up 2011? Why wasn't 2012 better?'," a source familiar with the matter said.

Toys R Us first went public in April 1978 and operated as a public company until July 2005, when it was taken private by KKR & Co LP (KKR.N: Quote), Bain Capital and Vornado Realty Trust (VNO.N: Quote) in a $6.6 billion deal.

While the company's results were far better when it was originally considering an IPO, some of the owners thought they would be able to raise more if they waited, the source familiar with the matter said.

But the results have lagged expectations since then.

"Everything subsequent to the decision not to go (public) at that time, you could probably say was the result of operation," the source said.   Continued...

Shoppers pass by the Toys R Us store at Times Square in New York November 22, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid