The long, sad saga of Bed Bath & Beyond’s slide from innovative retailer to struggling is an object lesson about what happens when successful companies lose their visionaries and their visions.
Revenue (12-months trailing), which peaked in 2018 at about $12.5 billion, has withered to about $7.4 billion today. The company’s market cap has also cratered. From a share price that was nearly $80 in 2015, the stock now trades around $5. A major restructuring or a bankruptcy seems inevitable.
Although BBBY is an extreme example, similar worries are gathering around companies like Apple and Amazon, whose visionaries have moved on, taking with them the excitement and energy that made them undisputed leaders in their categories.
The latest news from BBBY includes the sacking last month of its CEO, Mark Tritton, who had been recruited in 2019 from Target. Tritton’s hire was to be a rescue mission. He came with marketing credentials, but apparently without the necessary skills or vision required to pull the company out of its dive.