Overstock.com CEO Jonathan Johnson, June 29, 2023.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
The new Bed Bath & Beyond announced Monday its CEO Jonathan Johnson is immediately stepping down from his position in a sudden and surprising move.
Johnson had been Overstock’s chief executive since 2019. He led the company through its acquisition of Bed Bath & Beyond earlier this year and its corporate name change to Beyond Inc., which took effect on Monday.
David Nielsen, Beyond’s president and a former Payless ShoeSource executive, has taken over as interim CEO while the board undergoes a search for a permanent candidate.
“Following the recent acquisition of the Bed Bath & Beyond brand and our corporate renaming as Beyond, Inc., the Board and Jonathan determined that this is the ideal time for a transition in leadership to guide the company forward,” Allison Abraham, Beyond’s board chair, said in a statement.
The company said Johnson’s departure “follows mutual agreement” between him and the board to transition the company to new leadership but the move still appears sudden. About two weeks ago, the company had told reporters Johnson would be in New York on Monday – the same day its corporate name change went into effect – and said he would be available for meetings that afternoon.
The company didn’t immediately return a request for comment seeking additional information.
“As the company turns the page to become Beyond, now is the right time for me to also turn the page to the next chapter in my career,” Johnson said in a statement. “It has been an honor to work with such an exceptional team. I am confident the company is well-positioned to achieve broader popular reach as a bigger and better Beyond.”
Johnson had been with the company for more than 20 years and took over as chief executive after its founder and former CEO, Patrick Byrne, disclosed he had a relationship with a Russian spy.