Blockbuster President Resigns in Reorganization
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ Blockbuster Entertainment Corp. President Joseph R. Baczko resigned Monday as the giant video rental firm announced a corporate reorganization prompted by its recent music business acquisitions.
Vice Chairman Steven R. Berrard will serve as Blockbuster president until the company finds a permanent replacement.
″Given the nature of the reorganization, Joe and (Blockbuster) have mutually reached his decision to resign,″ Blockbuster Chairman H. Wayne Huizenga said.
Blockbuster spokesman Gregory K. Fairbanks said Baczko, who was also chief operating officer, plans to form a new retailing venture in which Blockbuster will be a minor partner. He wouldn’t elaborate.
Under Baczko’s leadership, Blockbuster had streamlined its video operations in an effort to improve productivity and profitability.
The new reorganization, which will be completed by March, will separate Blockbuster into domestic and international branches of video and music retailing, new technology and other entertainment ventures.
The company recently acquired more than 230 stores of Sound Warehouse and Music Plus, as well as entered into a deal with Virgin Retail Group Ltd. that will make it a partner in music retailing stores in Europe and the U.S.
Blockbuster Entertainment stock fell 50 cents per share to $18.25 in trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.