Leslie Patton and Chris Burritt
RadioShack Corp., the electronics retailer whose shares have plunged 73 percent this year, said Chief Executive Officer James Gooch left after 16 months on the job and was replaced on an interim basis by its finance chief.
The board and Gooch, 45, agreed that he would step down, effective immediately, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company said Wednesday, without specifying a reason. The board plans to use an executive search firm to help find a successor.
RadioShack suspended its dividend in July after posting an unexpected loss amid sluggish consumer spending and increasing dependence on mobile-phone sales. Selling lower-margin Apple Inc. iPhones ate into the retailer’s profitability, Gooch said at the time.
The company also is facing increasing competition from Best Buy Co., which is opening smaller stores dedicated to selling mobile phones, e-readers and tablets.
“Gooch simply was not effective, and a change clearly needed to be made,” Anthony Chukumba, an analyst at BB&T Capital Markets in New York, said in a note. He rates the shares hold.
RadioShack rose 1.6 percent to $2.60.
Julian Day, RadioShack’s previous chief executive, hired Gooch as finance chief in 2006 after they worked together at Kmart Holding Corp.
Gooch succeeded Day as CEO last year and had been working to spur stagnant sales. Analysts estimate the company will post a net loss of $27.2 million this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.