FAO Schwarz Chief to Leave Company

FAO Schwarz Inc. chief executive Jerry Welch will step down at the end of the month when his contract expires, Crain's New York Business reported yesterday.

The upscale toy retailer came back from bankruptcy last fall, first as a direct-to-consumer business with a catalog and Web site and later with the reopening of retail stores in New York and Las Vegas. Investment firm D.E. Shaw & Co., which acquired the company last January, reportedly said Welch's exit was always part of the turnaround plan.

Welch headed educational toy company The Right Start when it bought FAO Schwarz's assets in 2002.

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