Big Lots chief merchandising officer terminated without cause in wake of disappointing quarterly results

Shares of Big Lots Inc. BIG, -9.09% dove 7.1% toward a 2-year low in morning trading Tuesday, after the discount home essentials retailer disclosed Chief Merchandising Officer Jack Pestello had been terminated without cause. The disclosure comes after the stock tumbled 12.1% on Friday, after the retailer reported a surprise first-quarter loss and big sales miss and provided a downbeat gross margin outlook, as sales trends “materially slowed” in April. On Tuesday, the company said in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Pestello’s “separation” was effective immediately, and that two senior vice presidents, Kevin Kuehl and Derek Panfil, were named interim co-chief merchandising officers. The company said Pestello’s separation would be treated as a “termination without cause” for purposes of the company’s severance plan, which in 2021 would have entitled Pestello to a total payout of $2.09 million. Big Lots’ stock has plunged 44.4% year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.63% has dropped 13.5%.

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