Athayde steps down as CEO of Regis as the value of the hair salon business plunges

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Felipe Athayde, chief executive of Regis Corp., resigned Thursday after about 15 months at the helm of the Minneapolis-based hair salon franchisor.

The company’s board has named Matthew Doctor as interim CEO while it searches for a successor.

The news upset the value of a company that has been under pressure from investors all year. Shares of Regis fell 15.5% to $1.69 per share, which appeared to be an all-time low. The company has lost around 80% of its value this year.

Athayde, who received a $2.5 million signing bonus when he took the helm, continued to change the ownership mix of the company’s salons launched by his predecessor.

“The board is grateful for Felipe’s leadership and the franchise expertise he has brought to our transformed business model,” David Grissen, chairman of Regis’ board, said in a statement. .

“Felipe has assembled and developed a stellar team, Matt [Doctor] included, with complementary skill sets in operations, development, technology, recruiting and finance,” added Grissen.

Doctor, who has experience in franchise operations with multiple restaurant operations, consulted for Regis before being named executive vice president and chief strategy officer in February.

In a similar vein, the board announced that Jim Lain, president of franchise operations for Regis, has been named chief operating officer.

Prior to joining Regis, Athayde was the US President of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. In September 2020, Athayde succeeded Hugh Sawyer as CEO.

Sawyer began the process of converting Regis’ combination of corporate and franchise-owned salons to an asset-light model of all franchise-owned salons. Athayde announced in August that this process was complete.

However, Régis is still affected by the pandemic. When the coronavirus outbreak happened in early 2020, salons were closed by mandate. Throughout this year, Regis franchisees continued to face labor and personnel issues.

Announcing its latest quarterly results, Regis said last month that revenue was down 30% to $78 million, primarily due to the exit of some company-owned sites, compared to the reporting period. last year.

However, compared to the previous sequential quarter, revenue was up 8%, executives told analysts on a call. Although this signaled some recovery, Regis missed earnings expectations for the eighth consecutive quarter.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Athayde will remain an employee and member of Regis’ board of directors until March 19.

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