Weber replaces CEO, warns of layoffs as inflation bites into business

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FILE PHOTO: CEO Chris Scherzinger rings a ceremonial bell on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during the Weber Inc. initial public offering (IPO) in Manhattan, New York City

(Reuters) – Weber Inc on Monday replaced top boss Chris Scherzinger with an insider and warned that mounting inflationary and supply chain pressures could hit the grill maker’s financials and workforce, sending its shares down 20% in premarket trading.

The company withdrew its fiscal 2022 net sales and core earnings forecasts, saying higher consumer prices and geopolitical uncertainty were squeezing store traffic as well as margins.

Weber, which also suspended its quarterly cash dividend, said it was pursuing a number of initiatives, which may include job cuts, reducing expenses and tightening its inventory levels.

The company also forecast a net loss for the quarter ending June 30, citing weak store traffic and higher discounting.

In the quarter ended March 31, Weber’s net sales decreased 7% and net loss came in at $51 million compared with a net income last year.

The company named former Royal Dutch Shell plc senior executive and its current Chief Technology Officer Alan Matula as the interim-chief executive officer, and said the search for a permanent CEO was underway.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)