Vincent Altruda, who has been president of Borders's international stores since 1997, has been named president of Borders stores worldwide, assuming responsibilities held by Tami Heim, who resigned as president of Borders's U.S. stores last week.
Altruda's position is a new one, and he will direct all of Borders's superstore activities in the U.S. and abroad. Altruda, who is based in Ann Arbor, Mich., joined Waldenbooks in 1992 and transferred to Borders the following year, when he was named v-p, retail operations, and focused on the company's superstore growth.
According to the company, Heim, who joined Borders in 1996 and had been president of the superstore group since 2000, "plans to devote more time to family and assess various career options, including potential entrepreneurial ventures."
In a prepared statement, Borders Group CEO Greg Josefowicz stated, Altruda's "12-year management career with Borders Group and his operations expertise position him well to expand the scope of responsibilities to encompass all Borders store operations domestically and overseas and to drive synergies."
In last year's holiday season, sales at Borders superstores open at least a year were up 2%, a relatively poor showing compared to B&N's 6% gain in comp-store sales and Books-A-Million's 3.9% jump. In the same period, sales at superstores rose 7% while international sales rose 28.2%. With its new store opening program scaled back for 2004, Borders is counting on revenue growth coming from more sales per store.
In another significant personnel shift at Borders, Marilyn Slankard, director of marketing for seven years, left the company last week. She had been with Borders for 13 years.