PetSmart Names New CEO

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A year after acquiring for $3.4 billion to expand its ecommerce capabilities, PetSmart has added a new CEO to turn around performance at its 1,600 retail stores.

J.K. Symancyk, who will take on the role June 11, has more than 25 years’ experience in the retail industry. Symancyk was hired away from Academy Sports + Outdoors where he served as president and CEO since 2015.

He replaces Michael Massey, who stepped down in August. Massey was installed as CEO in 2015 after private equity firm BC Partners took it private.

“The board and I are confident that J.K. has the right qualities to lead PetSmart,” said Raymond Syider, Managing Partner at BC Partners and Executive Chairman of PetSmart in a press release. “J.K. has a 25-year track record as a proven leader, and has driven profitable growth in large, multichannel consumer businesses.”

Syider added that Symancyk has experience in retail operations, growing brands, improving operating performances and customer experience and delivering results.

Symancyk will be tasked with turning around a sales decline at PetSmart’s stores, as well as making the fast-growing into a profitable business, according to MarketWatch. The company’s annual revenues are estimated at $7 billion.

At Academy Sports + Outdoors, which he led for two-plus years, Symancyk helped implement a strategic growth plan and restructuring to better respond to changing consumer shopping habits, including outsourcing transportation and IT services, according to the Houston Chronicle. Prior to Academy, he also held various management and merchandising positions for Walmart and Sam’s Club.

“PetSmart is an iconic brand with a strong footprint in brick and mortar and digital,” said Symancyk. “I am looking forward to working with the talented management team and grow the business and to continue to fulfill the mission to be the trusted partner to pet and pet parents.”


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