Walgreen exec will be new CEO of RadioShack

Posted Thursday, Feb. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Fort Worth-based RadioShack, still struggling to regain its footing in the competitive consumer electronics market, has turned to a merchant for its next chief executive officer.

Joseph C. Magnacca joins the retailer from Walgreen Co., where he was executive vice president for marketing and merchandising at the drugstore operator, which has more than 8,000 stores.

He will assume his CEO duties Monday and will also be a board member.

He will be RadioShack's fourth CEO in three years. He replaces Dorvin Lively, the chief financial officer who had served as interim CEO since the sudden firing Sept. 26 of Jim Gooch after 16 months in the post.

Gooch had been RadioShack's chief financial officer.

Those changes followed the 2011 departure of CEO Julian Day after nearly five years on the job.

Magnacca, 50, was president of the Duane Reade drugstore chain when Walgreen acquired it in 2010.

Before that, he was merchandise chief for Duane Reade and was named the drugstore industry's merchant of the year in 2010 by trade magazine Chain Drug Review, RadioShack said in a news release late Thursday.

"Joe is a leader with significant experience in transforming iconic brand names into strong operating businesses," RadioShack's nonexecutive chairman, Dan Feehan, said in the release. Feehan is also CEO of Cash America International.

Magnacca was quoted in the release as saying: "I see advantages in being a small box retailer in the consumer electronics space today, particularly with the broad retail footprint and convenience RadioShack offers its customers." The company has about 5,800 stores and 1,500 wireless-phone centers.

Like many established brick-and-mortar chains, RadioShack has struggled to compete with online discounters like Amazon.com while facing greater competition from big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and direct-selling manufacturers like Apple.

RadioShack reported a bigger-than-expected loss of $47 million for the third quarter of 2012, its most recent financial disclosure.

That marked its third consecutive quarterly loss as it piled up about $76 million in losses during last year's first nine months.

In September, the chain laid off 150 employees, mostly at its downtown Fort Worth headquarters.

Last year, the company's shares (ticker: RSH) fell 78 percent, bottoming out at $1.91 in December, the lowest in decades.

The shares have rebounded this year. They slipped 2.2 percent Thursday to close at $3.11.

The CEO announcement was made after the close of trading.

Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552

Twitter: @jimfuquay

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