10 of the most brutal criticisms activist investors lobbed at Bed Bath & Beyond in a savage presentation weeks before the CEO's departure

Business Insider/Jessica TylerBed Bath & Beyond is under fire.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s announcement Monday that its CEO had resigned came with the company under fire over accusations of messy stores, “excessive compensation” of executives, and an abundance of garbage cans.

A group of activist investors – Legion Partners, Macellum Capital Management, and Ancora Advisors – released a brutal presentation in late April slamming Bed Bath & Beyond’s leadership.

The 168-slide presentation took issue with issues as varied as executive compensation and clutter in stores’ aisles. Slide after slide described different parts of the company that activist investors said were “broken.”

It’s unclear whether that presentation had anything to do with the company’s announcement Monday that CEO Steven Temares had stepped down and resigned as a member of the company’s board.

Read more:
Bed Bath & Beyond CEO steps down weeks after activist investors release a brutal presentation slamming its leadership

“It has been a privilege to serve with my fellow associates for these past 27 years,” Temares said in a statement. “It has always been, and will always be, about our people. There are truly no words to adequately express my gratitude to them and I will miss them immensely.”

In late April, Bed Bath & Beyond said it was already taking action on many of the issues highlighted by the activist investors.

“Upon our initial review, it appears that most of the operational areas targeted for improvement include actions the company is already taking as part of its transformation plan, which are already well underway or have been substantially completed,” the company said in a statement.

“Other target areas identified include actions that have been, and continue to be, considered by Bed Bath & Beyond. The company will provide a more detailed response at the appropriate time.”

Here are 10 of the most savage criticisms investors lobbed at Bed Bath & Beyond:

Many of the most brutal criticisms centered on what they called Bed Bath & Beyond’s “poor shopping environment that is neither experiential nor curated.”

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The presentation also put it more bluntly: “Stores are a mess.”

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

More snark from the same slide: “Customers need to be able to walk down the aisle to purchase the product.”

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The presentation described the scene as “random assortments shoved into fixtures.”

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Trash cans also proved to be a major problem for investors, who described stores as “garbage cans galore.”

Restore Bed Bath and Beyond Investor Group

Read more:
An activist investor group is slamming Bed Bath & Beyond for selling ‘garbage cans galore’

Apparently many customers complain about clutter, with the investor group citing a proprietary survey of 682 shoppers.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

One respondent reportedly said: “The aisles are often too narrow and/or overcrowded with product. I’m not a huge fan of the crowded feeling in the store, which makes me not want to spend a lot of time browsing while I’m in there.”

Investors cited a Business Insider article with the headline “Bed Bath & Beyond’s stores have been slammed as ‘devoid of inspiration’ and ‘a mess.’ We went shopping there and found it completely overwhelming.”

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Read the full article from October here.

Stores’ merchandise assortment was slammed as “weak.”

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Stores were found to lack “innovation and exclusive products that can drive traffic,” the presentation said.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s leadership was also criticised by investors.

Getty/Kevork Djansezian

“Under the current CEO, the company’s operational performance is deteriorating at an accelerating pace and he must be removed immediately and replaced with a highly qualified and capable leader,” the presentation said.

Executives received “Best-in-Class Pay for Worst-in-Class Performance” the presentation said.

Temares’ base salary was $US4 million in 2017, compared with an average of $US1.3 million for CEOs at rival retailers. Temares’ base pay was cut to $US500,000 in fiscal 2018, though the presentation noted that this wasn’t a permanent change.

Investors further took issue with the board’s perks as “excessive.”

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The presentation said the company paid the cochairs and former co-CEOs Warren Eisenberg and Leonard Feinstein “$US229,850 for car and car service allowances and $US63,700 for personal tax preparation needs, respectively … in 2017.”

Eisenberg and Feinstein left the company’s board in late April. On May 1, five new independent directors joined the Bed Bath & Beyond board.

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