Bed Bath & Beyond’s C-Suite Shake-Up Claims Longtime Legal Chief

Dec. 17, 2019, 8:53 PM

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.'s longtime general counsel Allan Rauch is among six senior executives departing the company as part of a corporate restructuring announced Dec. 17.

The Union, N.J.-based home goods retailer, which installed a new CEO in October as it seeks to adapt to a changing market for domestic decor, has turned to a former subordinate of Rauch’s to succeed him as general counsel on an interim basis.

A Bed Bath & Beyond spokesman told Bloomberg Law that Michael Callahan, a former vice president and corporate counsel with more than 25 years of experience in the company’s law department, will replace Rauch as the retailer looks for a more permanent successor. Rauch didn’t respond to a request for comment about his exit from the company.

Callahan, who left Bed Bath & Beyond earlier this year and now provides outsourced general counsel services to clients via a solo practice he operates in Spring Lake, N.J., also didn’t respond to a request for comment about his new role. Callahan initially joined Bed Bath & Beyond as counsel and regional director of real estate in December 1993, according to a LinkedIn profile page.

Rauch joined Bed Bath & Beyond the following year as an in-house real estate counsel reporting to former general counsel Steven Temares, a former colleague from the real estate practice at Schulte Roth & Zabel, where they had both once worked. Rauch was promoted to general counsel of the company in 1996, and Temares ascended to chief operating officer a year later.

In 2003, Temares became Bed Bath & Beyond’s CEO. He would spend the next 16 years in the company’s top leadership role until stepping down in May amid mounting pressure from activist investors unhappy with Bed Bath & Beyond’s faltering performance amid increased competition from Amazon.com Inc. and discount home furnishings retailer HomeGoods Inc.

Securities filings show that Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz took the lead in advising Bed Bath & Beyond as it avoided a proxy fight by replacing Temares with interim CEO Mary Winston and adding four new members to its board of directors, including Stephanie Bell-Rose, a Harvard Law School graduate and head of the TIAA Institute. In October, former Target Corp. chief merchandising officer Mark Tritton replaced Winston as Bed Bath & Beyond’s CEO.

Bloomberg data show that over the last five years, Bed Bath & Beyond has predominantly turned to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Greenberg Traurig, Jackson Lewis, and New York-based intellectual property law firm Cooper & Dunham to handle the bulk of its litigation work.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Seth Stern at sstern@bloomberglaw.com

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