MANCHESTER, Conn. – Bob’s Discount Furniture has tapped former California Closets CEO William “Bill” Barton as its new president and CEO, set to succeed Ted English, the company’s interim CEO since June, on Nov. 3.
English, who served as the company’s president and CEO from 2006 to2016, will continue in his role as executive chairman and will remain actively involved in the company. English took over as CEO in June following the departure of Michael Skirvin, who was president and CEO since 2016.
“Bill is an exceptional and customer-centric leader with deep retail and home goods experience. He is the ideal person to work with our talented team to lead Bob’s Discount Furniture through its next phase of growth,” said English. “Our business has experienced tremendous growth since we reopened our stores with a heavy focus on safety for our customers and our associates. We expect this momentum to continue as we head into the holiday season and plan for 2021 and beyond.”
To his new role, Barton brings more than three decades of experience leading high-growth businesses both in the home furnishings and tech world. Most recently, he spent 11 years as CEO of California Closets, a home organization solutions company and a unit of FirstService Brands, a subsidiary of FirstService Corp.
During his tenure with the brand, Barton worked with the leadership team to introduce new products and materials, open the company’s first two U.S. manufacturing plants, launch its e-commerce platform and launch collaborations with major lifestyle brands including Marquee Brands and Martha Stewart.
Bob’s Discount Furniture has experienced a growth-heavy year despite the challenges posed by widespread shutdowns and new safety mandates in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, having opened 15 new stores in 2020 in California, Arizona and Nevada. Since 2015, Bob’s Discount Furniture has more than doubled its store count, from approximately 60 locations to 135.
To contend with the pandemic, the company has implemented what it calls “Bob’s Rules” across its stores, which focus on three areas — cleanliness, a healthy environment and safety — and has also invested heavily in its e-commerce platform.
“The team at Bob’s has built an incredible business and driven a remarkable growth story,” said Barton. “I am honored and humbled to join as Bob’s next CEO and to work together with the team to realize Bob’s potential as a leader in omnichannel furniture retail.”