Harry & David names Craig Johnson as its CEO

AP News
Posted: Oct 24, 2011 9:53 AM
Harry & David names Craig Johnson as its CEO

Harry & David Holdings Inc., which exited Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection last month, has named Craig Johnson, a veteran executive with wide retail experience, as its CEO.

The gift and gourmet food company said Monday that Johnson's appointment takes effect on Tuesday.

Johnson, who previously served as CEO of Musician's Friend, will take over from interim CEO Kay Hong.

Hong, who has served as interim CEO since February and helped lead the company's restructuring, will stay with the Medford, Ore., company through the end of the year to help with the transition process. Hong also currently serves as a managing director for restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal.

Johnson, who will be based in Medford, most recently served as Guitar Center's chief supply chain officer. Musician's Friend is a Guitar Center subsidiary. He has also held positions at Oriental Trading Co., Golfsmith International Holdings Inc., Coldwater Creek Inc., the Austad Co. and Time Warner Co.'s Music Sound Exchange.

"With its successful restructuring now complete, improved capital structure in place and an outstanding harvest and holiday gift selection, the company is poised for a successful holiday season," Johnson said in a statement.

Harry & David Holdings sells a variety of goods, including chocolate and fruit baskets under the Harry & David, Wolferman's and Cushman's brands online and in stores. Its reorganization plan was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in August.

Harry & David began as an orchard run by two brothers, Harry and David Rosenberg, about a century ago. The orchard grew into a pear-by-mail business when the brothers sought to expand during the Great Depression and grew from there.