CFO resigns from struggling Houston retailer

Kelly Dilts has resigned from her position as CFO of Francesca’s Holdings to pursue another (as yet unnamed) opportunity. She had been the CFO since March 2016. The company promoted Cindy Thomasee to take her place.

[UPDATE 08-12-19: Kelly Dilts is now Senior VP, Finance at Dollar General, based in Tennessee]

Ms Thomasee joined the company in 2017 and was currently serving as the Chief Accounting Officer. She will receive a base salary of $325,000. She also received a grant of stock units worth $200,000 (less the value of a grant given to Ms Thomasee in April 2019). The grant will vest over 3 years.

Francesca’s has its head office in Northwest Houston and has been struggling in recent years. Its share price at the close of business on 1 July was 44 cents (market cap $18 million). The company announced that it would perform a reverse stock split of 12-to-1 to get the stock price back over $1. The Nasdaq had notified the company back in February that it was in danger of being de-listed.

At the end of January CEO Steven Lawrence resigned and the Board appointed Michael Prendergast of Alvarez & Marsal as its interim CEO. The company is paying A&M a monthly retainer of $100,000 for Mr Prendergast’s services. A&M protected themselves from bankruptcy by also negotiating what effectively amounted to a $250,000 up-front deposit.

At the same time, the company announced it had retained Rothschild to assist in a potential sale of the company.

The company still has 722 stores and has experienced sales declines every quarter since Q2 2017.

Back in April, the company entered into a retention agreement with Ms Dilts that agreed to pay her $380,000 if she remained employed with the company through April 2020. Presumably she has another role lined up that will more than make up for the retention foregone.

Other Houston retailers to have changed CFO’s this year areĀ Stage Stores andĀ Conn’s

SEC filing

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