March 2, 2009, 12:00 AM

Brookstone shuffles top management ranks

President and CEO Louis Mancini and chairman Ron Sim are stepping down from their positions at multichannel specialty retailer Brookstone, the company says. Philip Roizin will become interim president and CEO and Jackson Tai, chairman.

Brookstone Inc. president and CEO Louis Mancini and chairman Ron Sim are stepping down from their positions at the multichannel specialty retailer, the company says. Philip Roizin, Brookstone’s executive vice president of finance and administration, will be interim president and CEO, and board member Jackson Tai has been named chairman.

For Brookstone, No. 131 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, the changes in top management come after the retailer posted a 9.9% decline in web sales to $80.2 million for the 53 weeks ended Jan. 3, 2009, as total sales fell 11.7% to $496.7 million. The company reported a net loss from operations for the 53 weeks of $10.4 million, compared to net income of $40.8 million for the prior fiscal year’s 52-week period ended Dec. 29, 2007.

Mancini, who is also stepping down from the board of directors, will leave the company on March 4 under a succession agreement that Brookstone announced Feb. 24. Mancini joined Brookstone in 2006 from Murray’s Discount Auto Stores Inc. where he was CEO.

Roizin will begin as interim president and CEO and as a director of the company when Mancini departs. Roizin has been Brookstone’s executive vice president of finance and administration since 1996. Prior to Brookstone, he was chief financial officer of gifts retailer The Franklin Mint. In earlier positions, Roizin held senior management positions at Dole Food Co. and was a consultant at consulting firm Bain & Co.

“For more than twelve years, Philip has been intimately involved in virtually every aspect of the company`s business and has been a key driver of the company`s development and growth,” says Sim, who remains on the board and is chairman and CEO of OSIM International Ltd., the majority owner of Brookstone. “He will bring his wealth of experience to help the company meet the challenges presented by the current retail environment."

Tai, Sim’s successor as Brookstone chairman, has been a member of the Brookstone board since August 2008. He also was vice chairman and CEO of DBS Group Holdings and was a managing director in the investment banking division of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Tai continues to work as a director of MasterCard Inc. and CapitaLand, a global real estate investment firm.

Sim became chairman at Brookstone with the 2005 acquisition of the company by OSIM and investment firms JW Childs Associates LP in Boston and Temasek Holdings Ltd. in Singapore. Sim, who is also the founder of OSIM, says he will concentrate on market opportunities in Asia. OSIM is a developer and retailer of massage chairs and other products that it sells through more than 1,000 retail outlets in 31 countries, including 310 Brookstone stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, in addition to and Brookstone catalogs.

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