Inside This Issue - News
Search is on for CEO at Big Lots
January 14th, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – With the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigating his sale of $10 million worth of the company’s stock, Big Lots Inc. chairman and chief executive Steven Fishman has said he will retire.
The 61-year-old Fishman says he will step down when a successor is named. He says he is retiring to spend more time with his family.
Fishman’s decision to leave the post he has held since July 2005 came a day after a report in the Wall Street Journal that the SEC had been looking at the stock trade since March.
Fishman sold the Big Lots stock on March 20 of last year for about $45 a share. On April 23 the company told investors its sales had slowed, and the following day the stock fell 24% to $34.71.
Big Lots insists that Fishman’s trades were properly made and his stepping down is coincidental to the SEC investigation.
While the timing of Fishman’s trade would raise the suspicion of regulators, people familiar with white collar crime say it is not enough to build a case.
"Suspicious trading isn’t enough," Bridget Rohde, former chief of the criminal division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, told Bloomberg News. "You would have to prove he had material, non-public information."