Toys“R”Us Has A New Global Head

Running one of the largest toy and baby product retailers in the U.S. is the farthest thing from child’s play — even if that company is Toys”R”Us.

Toys”R”Us announced Thursday (Feb. 11) that Joe Venezia will be promoted to executive vice president of global store operations. Venezia has been with the company since coming on board in Feb. 2014 as senior vice president of store operations. As of Feb. 22, though, he will have a new boss to report to: Toys”R”Us Chairman and CEO Dave Brandon.

“Since joining Toys“R”Us two years ago, Joe has played a critical role in our transformation process, leading efforts to drive the business forward and deliver consistent operational execution across all stores, as well as improving customer satisfaction and developing a strong store operations team,” Brandon said in a statement. “I’m proud to have Joe as a leader on my team and believe his guidance will be an asset as we seek to grow our brands globally and create a world-class shopping experience for our customers.”

Venezia will have to hit the ground running in his new role as EVP of the retailer’s global stores. Forbes explained that Toys”R”Us has set goals to increase its number of stores in China by 30 percent by the end of 2016 — a bold goal for any retail executive, let alone one just assuming his role. In fact, it took Toys”R”Us a decade to reach the 100-store mark in China, which may have Venezia and others wondering if there’s much more room for expansion in that admittedly attractive market.

Someone will have to make some hard decisions soon — that, at least, is for sure. Forbes noted that Toys”R”Us has yet to release earnings information for 2015, but its 2014 numbers show stagnant revenue growth and a $292 million net loss.


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