Michaels Taps Walmart Exec As CEO; Shares Surge 32 Pct

Michaels Announces New CEO, Shares Jump 15 Pct

Arts and crafts retailer Michaels has announced that Walmart executive Ashley Buchanan will be taking over as CEO from Mark Cosby, and shares jumped 15 percent after the news, according to a report by CNBC.

Buchanan is going to start as CEO on Jan. 6, and Cosby is going to remain on to help out until April 1. Cosby has been CEO for a little more than two months, and he will still have a seat on the board after the transition.

Buchanan is going to make a yearly base salary of $1.2 million, as well as a signing bonus of $3.7 million. The $3.7 million will cover some Walmart bonuses that Buchanan jettisoned when he left Walmart.

Buchanan was also given 500,000 options and 795,000 shares of restricted stock by the board. The restricted shares are worth about $4.8 million, and the shares were priced at $6.02 as of closing on Dec. 26.

“Ashley is a world-class executive who has demonstrated the ability to redefine customer experiences and drive growth at the world’s largest retailer, and we are confident that he will be successful in leading Michaels forward,” said James Quella, chairman of The Michaels Companies Board of Directors, in a press release. “We are grateful to Mark for his steady and thoughtful leadership as Michaels has navigated a challenging retail environment. We will continue to benefit from his leadership and expertise during this transition and through his continued presence on the board.”

Cosby served as the company’s interim CEO beginning in February, and he was named full-time CEO in October. He used to be the president of Office Depot in North America.

“It has been an honor to lead Michaels and to help the company clearly define its core customer and develop a strategy centered on the makers,” Cosby said.

Buchanan, who started at Walmart in 2007, previously worked at Sam’s Club and became chief merchandising officer for Walmart’s eCommerce business in the U.S.

“I am excited to welcome Ashley as his impressive skills and extensive experience make him uniquely suited to lead Michaels into its long and bright future,” Cosby said. “He brings innovative thinking and a wealth of merchandising and digital expertise that will help us engage our makers and deliver unique crafting experiences.”