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Bed Bath & Beyond refreshes board as co-founders step down

Shoppers walk past a Bed Bath & Beyond store in Washington, D.C.

Bed Bath & Beyond said it appointed five new independent members to its board, replacing some directors including co-founders Warren Eisenberg and Leonard Feinstein, after facing pressure from a trio of activist investors to refresh its board.

Shares of the New Jersey-based company rose about 2% before the bell.

Last month, activist investors Legion Partners Asset Management, Macellum Advisors GP, and Ancora Advisors urged Bed Bath & Beyond to replace its entire board and oust Chief Executive Steven Temares.

The company said the activist group was invited to participate in the transformation of the board, but it declined.

Following the changes effective May 1, the board will comprise 10 directors, nine of whom are independent and six women, the company said.

Bed Bath & Beyond has struggled to keep pace with changing consumer tastes and shopping habits over the years, with sales growth spiraling down to just 1.1% last year compared with 22% in 2003, when Temares took over as CEO.

"The changes announced today reflect significant shareholder input and underscore our commitment to ensuring we have best-in-class governance," said Patrick Gaston, who was named an independent chairman.

CNBC

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