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Indigo Announces Leadership Team Shifts for 2024

Indigo Books & Music Inc. has announced its new leadership team for 2024.

At the Board level, Markus Dohle, the former global CEO of Penguin Random House, serves as Chair of the Board. Eileen Naughton, former Chief People Officer at Google and a member of Indigo’s Board, now serves as Chair of the Human Resources, Compensation and Governance Committee. Donald Lewtas, a former Managing Director at Onex Corporation, continues to serve as Chair of the Company’s Audit Committee.

At the Executive level, Indigo is led by Heather Reisman, CEO, who rejoined the company three months ago, and will continue in her position. Reisman founded Indigo 26 years ago. She is joined by an experienced and dedicated leadership team, including Iain Kennedy, who until recently was Chief Technology Officer at Canadian Tire. 

Earlier this summer, several Board member resigned and there was an allegation by one of mistreatment. According to CBC, almost half of Indigo’s board exited and Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa claimed her decision was due to a “loss of confidence in board leadership” and alleged “mistreatment.” Indigo only said at the time that the company wished the departing directors well and thanked each for their contributions. At the time of the shake-up, Peter Ruis was CEO, and he resigned shortly thereafter.

Reisman says that Dr. Oriuwa’s concerns and reasons for resigning were brought to the attention of Indigo’s Board at the time of her resignation. She advises that she “has not and will not comment further on the matters.”

At the time of her return to the company, Reisman said she saw a clear path for Indigo to “regain its momentum” and expressed her deep love for the company, its mission, and its people. “I know that together, we will return Indigo to growth and profitability.”

For its financial results ending July 1, 2023, Indigo reported that revenue was down $25.4 million or 12% compared to the year prior. Sales were impacted by a ransomware attack as well as the changing environment that led to softened sales. For the second quarter ended September 30, 2023, Indigo reported a loss of $13.8 million compared to $10.6 million the year prior and a net loss of $22.4 million compared to $15.9 million for the same time period the year before. Total revenue was $206.9 million for the quarter compared to $236.2 million in the same period last year, which represented the company’s highest-ever merchandise sales. Reisman said when the financials were released in early November 2023 that she has a “clear road map.” She also noted the opening of a new store at The Well in downtown Toronto, which has been “embraced by the community.”

Indigo operates 87 stores across Canada under both the Indigo and Chapters banners along with 83 small format stores under the Coles and Indigospirit banners. The company, headquartered in Toronto, employs approximately 5,000 people across the country.