January 27, 2005, 12:00 AM

SmartBargains.com appoints a new chairman and acting CEO

Jim Held, a member of the board of directors since last year and former Home Shopping Network CEO, becomes the acting chief of SmartBargains.com. Carl Rosendorf, CEO for 4 years, retains a seat on the board and a role as advisor.

SmartBargains Inc. has named Jim Held, a member of the board of directors since last year, as acting CEO to replace Carl Rosendorf, who became CEO of the company in 2001 after it launched online the previous year. Held also will serve as chairman. An executive search firm has been engaged to fill the CEO position permanently, according to a company spokesman. Rosendorf will retain a seat on the board and act as an advisor to the company, according to a statement released by Smart Bargains.

In the statement, SmartBargains director and former Federated Group CEO Norman Matthews thanked Rosendorf for his service to the company. “During his tenure, the company grew at a compound annual growth rate of more than 100%, and we anticipate that 2004 revenues will be our best ever. That’s a phenomenal accomplishment,” he said.

Held, president of JPBK Consulting, also oversees his own charitable foundation and is a 20-year veteran of the retail industry. He previously served as CEO of Home Shopping Network, CEO of Adrienne Vittidini Inc and executive vice president of QVC Inc.

Though SmartBargains, one of a handful of surviving pure-plays, has grown revenues, with sales that rose from $75.8 million in 2003 to $92.2 million in 2004, the 4-year-old company has yet to be profitable. Losses narrowed from $10.7 million in 2003 to $1.4 million in 2004. An IPO for which SmartBargains filed registration papers last August has not reached the market.


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