Toys ’R’ Us Executives Depart Retailer After CEO Resigns

Toys “R” Us Inc. (TOYS), the retailer that canceled its initial public offering last week, has had three senior executives leave recently after Chief Executive Officer Gerald Storch said he’d step down.

Daniel Caspersen, executive vice president of human resources, retired last month, confirmed Kathleen Waugh, a spokeswoman at the Wayne, New Jersey-based company. Senior vice presidents Kelly O’Neill and Philipp Elliott are also no longer with the company, Waugh said.

Storch said in February he would step down as CEO of the 1,500-store chain after a drop in holiday sales and will stay on during a search for a replacement. The retailer has struggled to boost revenue amid competition from Amazon.com Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Toys “R” Us said last month that it pulled its IPO, citing “unfavorable market conditions” after first filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2010.

Caspersen, 60, joined the world’s largest chain of toy stores in 2006, about a year after Bain Capital LLC, KKR & Co. and Vornado Realty Trust (VNO) acquired the company for $6.6 billion. O’Neill worked with Caspersen in human resources and Elliott oversaw merchandising for the chain’s Babies “R” Us brand.

Sales declined 2.6 percent to $13.5 billion in the fiscal year ended Feb. 2 while net earnings sank 74 percent to $38 million, the company said last month.

Executive Returns

Caspersen’s role has been filled by Deborah Derby, who will oversee human resources for the company’s 68,000 employees. She worked at Toys “R” Us from 2000 to February 2012 in several positions, including chief administration officer. She then did consulting for Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. before returning to the company this year as vice chairman and executive vice president. She is leading the search for a new CEO along with the owners, Waugh said.

Attempts to reach the former executives were unsuccessful.

The retailer refinanced more than $600 million of loans last week, pushing out its next long-term maturity to 2016. The company’s ratio of debt to trailing 12-month earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was 5.5 on Feb. 2, compared with 1.49 times for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., 1.94 times for Amazon and 4.22 for all U.S. retailers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Townsend in New York at mtownsend9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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