Toys 'R' Us Promotes Urcelay to CEO to Guide Turnaround

Toys “R” Us Inc., the retailer that canceled its initial public offering earlier this year amid declining sales, named Antonio Urcelay, its interim chief executive officer, to the role on a permanent basis.

Urcelay, 61, who joined Toys “R” Us in 1996, had been serving as CEO temporarily since May after Gerald Storch stepped down. Hank Mullany, 55, was also appointed as president of its U.S. division, its largest unit with more than 850 stores, the Wayne, New Jersey-based retailer said in a statement.

The world’s largest toy-store chain is entering a critical holiday-shopping season when it needs to show it can increase sales after posting eight straight quarterly declines in revenue. Toys “R” Us pulled its IPO in March, citing “unfavorable market conditions” after first filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2010. The reversal followed a decline in revenue during the holidays and Storch’s subsequent resignation.

Urcelay’s appointment is effective immediately and Mullany, who joins from ServiceMaster Co., a residential and commercial service business where he was CEO, takes up his post on Nov. 5.

Toys “R” Us, which is owned by Bain Capital Partners LLC, KKR & Co. and Vornado Realty Trust, has been hurt by increased competition from rivals, including Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., offering lower prices. The retailer has said this holiday season it will match prices, whether in stores or online, with retailers including Wal-Mart, Target Corp. and Amazon.

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