Booktopia CEO Steps Down Amid Drastic Restructure

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By Published On: June 3, 20240 Comments

Booktopia has announced a series of organisational changes including the withdrawal of its guidance, resignation of its CEO, and a company restructure.

Online book retailer Booktopia will be making a series of changes following a strategic review. After hitting a record low in February 2024, the company announced it would be undertaking a strategic review of its business to explore all options to accelerate a return to acceptable earnings.

After declining demand and incurring some “challenges” in transitioning into a brand new CFC – which was expected to bolster its FY24 earning, Booktopia has now revealed the drastic changes it will be implementing to achieve this goal. 

In an announcement released to the ASX on Monday morning, CEO David Nenke tendered his resignation after just one year in the role, effective immediately. 

In the interim, while the search for a new CEO begins, Booktopia Chairman, Mr Peter George, will assume the role of Executive Chairman and will take on full operational responsibilities for the next 6 months. 

Director Tony Nash will be assuming an Executive Director Role and undertake duties as Sales Director for this period.

Across the business, at least fifty roles are to be considered for redundancy across a number of departments in Booktopia’s corporate headquarters in Rhodes, Sydney. This restructure is expected to result in $6.1m annualised cost savings. 

On the restructure, Executive Chairman Peter George said: “The sustained volatility of the economic climate, in addition to changing consumer spending behaviours, have continued to contribute to business results that have been below our expectations. The Board remains committed to building a profitable and sustainable business in the short and long-term and as such, we have regrettably had to make the very difficult decision to make a large reduction in headcount and will commence the necessary consultation with our staff. This will assist in resetting the Company’s cost base to become more commercially viable and improve its prospects as it moves forward.”

“We recognise we will be losing many talented staff in this process and would like to express a sincere thank you to those affected, for all of the hard work and commitment they have put into the Company.” 

The company has also announced a number of key strategic focuses to improve conversion rates to support increased revenue. This includes focusing on core elements of the website experience, which will make it easier for customers to make purchases, with emphasis on development of a guest checkout feature as well as further optimisations to improve website speed on mobile and desktop, improving the book buying experience. 

Booktopia has withdrawn the guidance provided to the market in its announcement made on 9 February 2024 due to the restructure and revenue decline. 

Further detail on revenue and earnings will be shared when the Company publishes its full-year accounts in August.

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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