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Dollar Tree Jettisons Legal Chief, Others Amid $1.25 Price Shift

June 28, 2022, 9:58 PM

Discount variety store chain Dollar Tree, Inc. took a broom to its executive suite, sweeping out chief legal officer William Old and other top executives, the company announced Tuesday.

Old and Thomas O’Boyle, Dollar Tree’s chief operating officer, are among those headed for the exit.

“Searches for successors are underway, and the company is in advanced discussions with several candidates for certain positions,” Dollar Tree said in the announcement.

The value chain, which has been selling items from toys to food and household essentials for $1 each, was criticized last year when it announced plans to raise its traditional price by May 2022.

Diehard Dollar Tree shoppers reacted furiously over the store’s “Everything’s $1” signs being replaced with $1.25 signs.

Departing from its brand identity was a sharp break for Dollar Tree, which stuck to the $1 across-the-board pricing for more than three decades. CEO Michael Witnyski said in August that the company was committed to $1, telling analysts that “the dollar price point is going to be more important than ever.”

The Chesapeake, Va.-headquartered company’s traditional pricing was buffeted by increases in labor, shipping, fuel and merchandise costs. Dollar Tree began testing the sale of items at higher price points, and in September it announced it would move to $1.25 items at its stores.

In May, the chain announced its first quarter 2022 results, reporting expanded sales and a 19.2% increase in gross profit to $2.34 billion. Witnyski noted that the company was taking “the necessary actions now to position ourselves for accelerated growth,” and expected to “continue generate a significant amount of cash flow.”

The company said it expects to report quarterly earnings on Aug. 25, 2022 for its 16,162 stores in 28 states and five Canadian provinces. The stores operate under the brands of Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree Canada.

In addition to the discontent over pricing, the company has faced several controversies. The Arkansas state attorney general sued Family Dollar in April, claiming the chain knew of a major and long-running rodent infestation at a West Memphis distribution center but continued to sell potentially contaminated products that had been stored there.

In addition to Old and O’Boyle, also departing the company are chief strategy officer David Jacobs, chief information officer Andy Paisley, and chief financial officer Kevin Wampler, who will remain with the company as an advisor until April 2023, the announcement noted. Old and three others, whose last day was June 27, are receiving severance.

Witnyski noted in the announcement that he thought leadership changes “will bring new perspectives and experiences that will help accelerate our continued growth.”

The move received the backing of the company board’s executive chairman Richard Dreiling.

“Our board is fully aligned with Mike that now is the right time to bring in new leadership to ensure the company remains on a strong trajectory,” Dreiling said in the announcement.

Brian Baxter contributed to this report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Olson at egolson1@gmail.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com